NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2014: New Format Fails to Captivate Audience

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 16, 2014

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 15: Paul George, Terrence Ross, and John Wall during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on State Farm All-Star Saturday Night as part of the 2014 All-Star Weekend at Smoothie King Center on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

On Saturday night, we all witnessed the new format of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Rather than keeping it as an individual contest, it was decided to make it more of a Team East-versus-Team West showdown this year.

Well, it could have gone better.

Although there were some great dunks and impressive air time on display, there was a dull feeling throughout the event.

During the team freestyle portion that opened up the contest in which the three players on both teams were given 90 seconds to impress the judges, there simply wasn't enough action going on.

Too much time to set up and coordinate what all three players would be doing made even the better attempts seem rather boring.

Team East did put together this impressive jam during the session:

Bleacher Report

Unfortunately, it was not nearly as exciting due to the amount of time elapsed between attempts.

At this point, Twitter was already going into a frenzy:

Next, the Battle Rounds took place. One competitor from each team faced off against each other. Whoever was able to put down the better dunk won a point for his team. The first team to three would win.

The contest did get a bit better at this point, as it became more individual-oriented. However, with the East winning the first two Battle Rounds, the third almost didn't even matter.

The only thing that the remaining two competitors had going for them was a shot to win the Sprite Dunker of the Night—an award voted upon by fans via social media.

Luckily, John Wall threw down the most impressive dunk of the night in that third round to win the award:

Bleacher Report

Still, the old format seemed to be missed, according to ongoing tweets:

The talent is still there. Some of these athletes were truly impressive over the duration of the contest. Unfortunately, their efforts were overshadowed by the monotonous-feeling format that we witnessed for the first time on Saturday night.