Monday, February 18, 2008

More Superhero Dunks for Howard

Saturday night, Orlando’s Dwight Howard dazzled the All-Star crowd in New Orleans by winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. In the most enduring image, Howard donned a Superman costume and threw one down with cape in tow. Some may wonder what the Magic big man can do for an encore if he chooses to defend his title in Phoenix next year. Clearly the Superman theme worked for Howard this year, so he should expand his repertoire to include other superheroes. Here are some possibilities, in alphabetical order.

Aquaman: With the court at US Airways Center completely underwater, Howard swims from one basket to another and emerges to throw down a thunderous slam.

Batman: Howard dunks after jumping over a rookie teammate forced to dress as Robin. In his front-row seat, Jack Nicholson laughs maniacally as The Joker.

Blade: Howard kills a vampire before every dunk. Then, continuing the Wesley Snipes theme, he hustles his competitors with the help of Woody Harrelson.

Captain America: Each dunk has Howard slamming over Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki, or another foreign-born All-Star.

Flash: Using superhuman speed, Howard dunks 300 times within the span of a minute. An added bonus: if he actually misses a few, the judges will never notice.

Ghost Rider: Howard takes off on a fiery motorcycle and throws down a slam. In a tribute to the Fonz, Howard’s motorcycle jump goes over Jerry Tarkanian.

Green Lantern: Instead of going to the basket, Howard uses his power ring to bring the basket to him. The dunking part’s easy after that.

Hulk: Howard turns green, busts out of his shirt in a rage, slams the ball through the hoop, and hurls the basket at the front row of spectators.

Iron Man: Howard throws one down while wearing a suit of armor. Michael Jordan often had to use this tactic when he played against the Knicks.

Plastic Man: With his ridiculously long reach, Howard dunks from the three-point line, simultaneously winning the Slam Dunk Contest and the Three-Point Shootout.

Spider-Man: Howard spins a web to the roof, swings his way to a ferocious dunk, and kisses Kirsten Dunst while hanging upside-down.

Storm: After creating a tornado in the arena, Howard slams through the turbulent conditions. He still keeps the arena dry, since commissioner David Stern has issued a strict edict against “making it rain” during All-Star Weekend.

Wolverine: The dunk-a-thon for Howard continues, even though he repeatedly punctures the ball with his razor-sharp claws.

Wonder Woman: Howard transforms into a hot woman, jumps from his invisible jet to throw down a slam, and reels in his competitors with a lasso.