Fresh off the announcement of the participants for the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA laid down the new rules for the February 16th dunkathon. Prepare to be…prepared.
This year’s event will feature the participants competing as a team — three players representing the Eastern Conference and three players representing the Western Conference — in an above-the-rim two-round format. In a significant first in the event’s history, the competition will tip off with a Freestyle Round where the dunkers for each conference will have 90 seconds to showcase as many dunks as they want. At the conclusion of the Freestyle Round, the panel of judges will then choose a winner by voting “East” or “West.” The winning conference will earn the advantage of deciding whether its dunkers will dunk first or second in the head-to-head battles that take place in the Battle Round.
Teams. Because if it’s one thing a competition of individual displays of athleticism was missing, it was teams.
The Battle Round will feature head-to-head matchups pitting East dunkers vs. West dunkers, with the judges choosing a winner for each battle. Upon losing a head-to-head battle, that dunker is then eliminated from the competition. The first team to win three battles will win the competition and be crowned 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk champions. At the conclusion of the team competition, fans will then have the opportunity to vote for the player of their choice as the “Sprite Slam Dunker of the Night” through SMS, Twitter, NBA.com and the NBA GameTime app.
Christ. I’m already bored. Here’s the problem with the dunk contest — all of the participants can dunk. Just as the Home Run Derby gets boring after a couple long balls, the dunk contest is a snooze after a couple dunks. These are all athletes. These are NBA players doing what NBA players do. OH BUT LET’S PUT THEM ON TEAMS! EAST VS. WEST! LIKE RAP! KIDS LIKE RAP! THEY CAN HAVE BEEFS! NBA BEEFS!
If the NBA really wants to get fans excited about the dunk contest they need to only allow players participate who can’t dunk. Or at least those who can’t dunk with any style.
Would you rather watch twenty minutes of John Wall dunking or twenty of Steve Nash trying to dunk?