A few updates from Slam Dunk Contest "Media Mix Zone" (read: the area where players are forced to suffer we question-askers).
• Dwight Howard succeeded in kicking all media out of the practice area for about 3 minutes before everyone figured out that he had no authority to do so. Members of the media are usually pretty surly when it comes to being told what to do, but everyone pretty much followed Howard's command until someone (cough, me, cough) complained to one of the PR folks.
• Rudy will be dunking second. Howard, Robinson and Smith initially decided that Rudy would have to go first, seeing as how it's his first dunk contest, but then one of the TV guys stepped in and said they didn't have a choice in the manner. Howard is supposed to dunk first, but he was complaining up a storm about being the the starter, so we'll see if he ends up going first.
• Howard and Nate Robinson were throwing down some ridiculous dunks that had Rudy (and yours truly) shaking his head. I think our man is a little intimidated.
• More arguing. Howard was trying to argue that throwing the ball through the hoop, regardless of whether or not your hand actually touches the rim, is a dunk (natch). Nate Rob and JR Smith were having none of it.
Taking a page out of Ben Golliver's playbook, I present to you the shoes of all four dunk participants.
First, our boy Rudy, wearing his standard Nike's in an all red version:
Dwight Howard. Photo is blurry, so you can't really make out the Superman logo on the back, but trust me, it's there:
Nate Robinson in orange Nike's:
JR Smith in gray Nike's: