Harrison Barnes will represent the West.
There are new rules to the dunk contest this year in an attempt to spice it up with an East vs West approach. Here are the rules via USA Today:
For the first time, the dunk contest participants will be split into two teams: East (Terrence Ross, Paul George and John Wall) and West (Harrison Barnes, Damian Lillard and Ben McLemore). Rather than all of the dunkers competing against each other as individuals, they will be working in teams, with team and individual awards being given out at the end of the night.
The first round will be a so-called “freestyle” competition, where the dunkers on each team will have 90 seconds to pack in as many dunks as they can. It’s essentially a layup line, not too different from players’ pregame shootaround routines. The judges select a winning team, and that team chooses whether to go first or second in the next round.
The battle round is another clever twist. The three dunkers on each team will be paired off for a series of head-to-head battles, with the judges selecting a winner from each. When a dunker loses a battle, he’s eliminated from the competition, and the remaining contestants continue to go head-to-head until one of the teams wins three battles. That team will be the Slam Dunk Champions for the night.
So it’s a team game now instead of an individual game, even though there are individual elements. Will this work? I hope so. The dunk contest wasn’t bad because of the old rules. It was bad because there was lack of creativity and the time allotment was too long.
EDIT: The NBA makes it official.
We knew sleeves were going to be included in the All-Star game jerseys this year. But I didn’t realize the entire set would look like crap. Seriously, does Adidas not know what is considered fashionable? Check out the link above as the jerseys have been leaked by a French basketball site.
I don’t want to go too much into detail as to what bothers me because it’s pretty easy to see what is wrong. We have sleeves. We have no number on the front, just the logo. The back is cluttered with two logos, a name and a number. Random one shoulder stripe? Three stripes down the side because Adidas wants to remind you that they are making this. And the three stripes on the three stripes. And also, that incomplete colored collar just looks so amateur.
Was the winner of the dunk contest pre-determined before the voting period ended?
During the dunk contest, fans had the opportunity to text, tweet or vote online for the winner of the slam dunk contest. The winner was in the fans’ hands.
They had a countdown clock so fans knew how much time was left before the voting period ended.
But curiously, Nick Cannon was handed an envelope which appeared to have the results. This was with nine seconds remaining in the voting countdown. Were the results of the voting already tallied before the voting period ended?
So that dunk contest was hard to watch. The final dunks were decent but everything else was just hard to watch.
What is the solution? How can we make this thing better?
Obviously the problem is the lack of star power. I didn’t even know who was in this dunk contest until I looked it up. There was no star power here. It would be great if we got some big name players in this contest.
You know what’s sad? I don’t even know who’s in this year’s dunk contest. I should know, but I don’t. The slam dunk contest has now become so boring that it just doesn’t excite me anymore.
Looking at the dunks of years past, I am reminded about the creativity in the dunks. There was a sense of pride in going out there and putting on a show. Great dunkers entered. Popular players entered. The dunk contest used to mean something. It was a deal that was worth making a fuss about. We don’t have that anymore.
Big names such as LeBron James won’t join it. Instead, we are getting some no namers that might be good, but the hype isn’t there. Instead, we enter this All-Star weekend with not much build up towards the dunk contest. What happened along the way?