Whenever East meets West, there is a battle to be won. John Wall of the Washington Wizards showed off his impressive skills during All-Star Saturday’s 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans. Wall’s reverse dunk move, which he did after taking the ball from the Wizards mascot G-Man and moving it between his legs, will definitely be the talk of basketball-crazed fans for weeks to come. The move cemented Team East’s win over the West, and was enough to make fans vote for him as the Sprite Dunker of the Night.
The extraordinary feat was probably the best thing the contest had, because after Wall was declared as the night’s top dunker, the contest ended, leaving fans somewhat dazed. Many of the viewers felt that the competition ended too soon, calling the new format “whack,” which is slang for awful, shocking, or sickening—or all of the above.
The contest’s new format was hoped to give players and fans a boost, but only resulted in confusion and frustration. What the NBA did was to give each conference a 90-second freestyle round, after which the one-on-one battles would ensue. Players can only use one type of dunk in the man-versus-man battle, judges vote which player executed it better, and the team gets a point. As there are only three players for each team, the first team to get three points wins. The new format, instead of reinvigorating the contest, had fans clamoring for the old one.
Before the new format came along, individual players were given the stage to shine. It was something the fans enjoyed watching, as they could see their favorite players perform solo slams. Now, with the team element making up half of the competition, what used to be an entertaining night—a basketball-themed talent show, if you will—has turned into something that may be considered monotonous and lacking inspiration and the feeling of seeing one man against all odds, something that the old format had and the new one obviously does not.
Watch John Wall’s impressive slam dunk
Image via YouTube