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:
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:
Of all the times to promote team basketball, the slam dunk contest isn't one of them.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 16, 2014
I'm just going to pretend that whole freestyle dunk contest portion never happened.— Scott Stump (@Scott_Stump) February 16, 2014
Dunk Contest wasnt horrible. A little more structure to Freestyle round would be good. 3-point shootout was hot.— Brian Mazique (@BMaziqueFPBR) February 16, 2014
I don't know if I'm feeling that open/freestyle round in the dunk contest— chuck hayes (@c_hayes44) February 16, 2014
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:
Still, the old format seemed to be missed, according to ongoing tweets:
The Slam Dunk Contest is somehow worse than the Friday Celebrity All Star Game now.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) February 16, 2014
I’ve see better dunks at a baptism than tonight’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest.— Sammy Rhodes (@sammyrhodes) February 16, 2014
"You know what'd be great? If they'd strip individual competition & showmanship away from slam dunk contest & made it a team event" - no one— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) February 16, 2014
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.