here) and has been considered by some to be one of the worst in recent memory. Here is what I think should be done to bring the dunk contest back to its prior glory.
First off, we need to get the stars to come back to the dunk contest. This was never a problem until around the middle of the last decade when they decided to stop participating, save for a few exceptions like Blake Griffin a year ago. Everybody who was an NBA fan remembers the epic duels between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in the 1980's in the dunk contests.
How to get that to happen? I have a couple of ideas. First off, increase the prize for winning, of course everyone in the league is for the most part close to being a millionaire but the lure of winning a nice chunk of change is appealing to everybody. Next, have the league pick four players to play, a combination of stars and unknowns to make for a mixed field. Now unless the players are injured, they have to perform. The league can do this by saying if you are going to play in the All-Star Game, you must partake in the dunk contest. If you choose not to perform in the dunk contest, then you can't play in the All-Star Game because that's what everyone wants to play in.
Another suggestion to improve the dunk contest is to get rid of the props. The props have helped to hurt the dunk contest, taking the focus off the dunks themselves and more of a theatrical show. When you think about the classic dunk contests, do you remember any props? Not as far as I could recall.
Now the NBA is not likely to change anything with how good the ratings are. But if the league wants to bring the dunk contest back to the glory days, they should follow my advice. Or not.
UPDATE: Kevin Durant agrees.