If you think the NBA’s slam dunk contest has lost some of its luster, then you won’t know what to make of the disaster that is the Chinese Basketball Association’s version of this event.

The CBA’s dunk contest, which took place this past weekend, was kind of like holding a dirty sock just out of your dog’s reach and watching him give it his all, with nothing to show for it. The participants looked like they gave it their all, but in the end, they, too, fell short.

A chap by the name of Zhai Yi has the distinction – for lack of a better word -- of winning the contest. The next Yao Ming he is not, though. On one dunk, he attempted to slam the ball while also placing a sneaker to the backboard. He got the shoe part down, but the ball didn’t go in. He finally got it right – on his third try.

Second place went to Sen Tiangui, who somehow failed to dunk over an oversized inflatable rice ball, which sounds like a dunk a child would try on the playground using his Fisher-Price hoops set.

The dunk contest hardly inspired the players, since it took place between the end of the regular season and the beginning of the playoffs. Basically, it’s like the NFL Pro Bowl, without the nice Hawaiian backdrop to distract you from how disinterested the participants are.

Somewhere, you can bet Yao Ming is just shaking his head.