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Daily Madden: Why Dunk Competition Winners Aren’t Always National Champs

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John Madden (KCBS)

John Madden (KCBS)

JohnMadden01-228 John Madden
John Madden began his pro football coaching career in 1967 as t...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) –  Some of the most jaw dropping moments in sports come during skills tests like golf long drive competitions or a home run hitting contests, but as John Madden points out, that individual skill doesn’t always translate into a successful pro career.  

Jacob Tucker, a 5’10” guard at Illinois College and the smallest player on the floor, won the NCAA slam dunk contest Thursday night. Madden praised the accomplishment, but noted it’s just one part of the game. The most valued players, he said, are the ones who excel at the whole game.

“I’ve known guys who can do parts of sports,” said Madden. “But often they don’t play the whole game well, and ultimately it comes to that…you have to take that one part that could be outstanding, and you have to have game around that.”

Sometimes stars such as Tim Lincecum have the ability to throw a ball over the center field fence, but it’s his well-rounded selection of pitches that makes him one of the most dominant pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Lincecum and the Giants lost their season opener in Los Angeles Thursday night. John joined many others in asking why the World Series champions had to open their season on the road.

Madden noted that in football, the Super Bowl champs gets their own day to host their “lid lifter,” and said baseball should give the same honor to the World Series champion. He said the 5 p.m. start time wasn’t ideal for the champs either.

“That’s the same time the little league Giants played,” said Madden.

Looking ahead, Kentucky faces Connecticut and VCU plays Butler in the NCAA Final Four this weekend. John said he likes Kentucky and VCU, but only because he has them in his bracket pool. (9:25)

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