PUERTO PRINCESA - Joe Devance stressed there was no intention to make a mockery of the PBA or its annual Slam Dunk contest when he and teammate Justin Melton conspired in the 'epic fail' dunk seen around the world.
The Purefoods forward made this clear in light of the widespread ridicule generated by the failed dunk attempt of Melton during Friday’s side event of the PBA All-Star weekend won by Meralco’s Rey Guevarra.
“I mean, it was his (Melton’s) thing (decision to go for the blindfold attempt). It was really his decision,” he said.
Devance said he is hardly affected by the criticism they received after Melton tried to slam the ball blindfolded and failing miserably, an act which went viral in social networking sites and got airtime from CNN and other major US networks.
The 6-foot-7 Fil-Am said most people didn't know the story behind the dunk attempt.
“I don’t see it (Melton’s last attempt) as negative at all. I mean, you know the people didn’t really know the whole situation. They didn’t know what me and Melt (Melton’s nickname) had planned, but it’s okay,” Devance told Spin.ph on Sunday.
“I saw some comments there (online) blaming me that it was my fault or that stuff, but I think that’s funny because they didn’t know what happened,” he added.
Melton later said the act was meant as a joke after failing to convert his first two serious dun attempt in the first round. When the Purefoods guard fell out of contention, Devance said all they wanted was to try to have fun and entertain the fans.
Devance said they never thought the stunt would generate international buzz.
“They (netizens) can say anything they want. I’m fine with that. We even said like, 'If we do this, like it’s gonna be big news, like everybody will think it’s gonna be funny,' but we never thought it’s gonna be internationally big,” he said.
“So that’s what’s pretty cool. We just knew it’s gonna be funny, some people got it, some people didn’t.”
The video gained world-wide attention when CNN showed a short clip of Melton’s last dunk attempt, an obvious takeoff from a similar attempt by former NBA player Baron Davis to make a windmill dunk attempt blindfolded in the 2001 All-Star Weekend.
Like Melton, Davis also failed in his attempt.
Devance actually took off his shirt which the 5-foot-9 Melton used to cover his eyes. The former dun champion then took off from just inside the free-throw line, and went for a windmill dunk, with the ball simply spiking the floor.
“Yeah, I saw a few different clips and stuff (from CNN). Everybody was talking about it in the US, so it was pretty cool,” the 33-year-old standout from University of Texas, El Paso said with a smile.
Devance is confident Melton will again join the dunk contest next year and reclaim the title from Guevarra.
“For sure, he’s gonna be back in it next year. Hopefully he’ll win it and that’s the only time I’ll have him dunk over me,” he said.