The verdict is in and last night’s Sprite Slam Dunk contest gets a guilty of not working for me. I really wanted to see this new format in action, and well, I did. It didn’t feel like it was made for the dunk contest at all. The free style round into a battle round, then selecting an individual winner after all of that. Just didn’t seem to flow well and the overall feeling afterwards was “that’s it?” That’s sums up the contest right there.
I’ll give the NBA credit for trying something different and I thought we did see some fine dunks. John Wall performed strongly and laid down a great dunk on his first attempt. Let’s get to that attempt idea for a second. This time around, you were given three attempts to complete a dunk, but even then, no one seemed sure what constituted an attempt because I believe Paul George went for a dunk, but it wasn’t an attempt. No one really explained that aspect of the contest. That wasn’t the deciding factor in my verdict for the contest, but it’s something that was very unclear about the contest.
I thought the team format was a way to shake things up, and the Eastern Conference guys seemed to make it work well for them. But overall, a dunk isn’t a team thing. Sure, you can have a guy throw you the ball for an alley oop and what not. A dunk is all individual though.
You could still do the freestyle mode and the battle mode, but throw out that team idea and put in two more guys for a tourney style dunk contest. The NBA is definitely going to have to look over last night’s event and see what didn’t work, which to me, was all of it.
I don’t know what fixes they’ll end up making, but would any of those fixes really do what they want to do? We all know Lebron James needs to be in one of these, but I think the time has already passed by, and he’s not going to enter it. I would love to see what he could do with this much freedom, but for whatever reason, James isn’t up to it. If the NBA has some fix for that, then maybe the dunk contest retains it’s luster.