2014 NBA Dunk Contest Proves Freestyle Round Was a Terrible Idea

By Ryan Heckman
2014 NBA Dunk Contest
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NBA Dunk Contest would have lived up to the hype had the rules not changed this year. Overall, it was forgettable and seemed rather short.

But, to be fair, the very first round did not do the contest any favors as a whole. The freestyle round, for those that did not get a chance to see it, was a minute and a half for each conference to have all three of their contestants on the court at the same time. Each player had to complete at least one dunk while they worked together to score the highest collective total.

First of all, it was much too unorthodox. The three players being on the floor at the same time did not keep the crowd involved whatsoever. While the league may have thought it would speed things up and excite the fans, it did just the opposite.

I sat on my couch watching the freestyle round thinking, “That was it?” It was rather boring and did not peak my interest in the least bit. As I have said recently, the Slam Dunk Contest has been sick for a while. But, the league tried to get it back on track in 2014.

With the contestants in this year’s contest, it could have been much better than we have seen in the last decade. However, the new rules and format completely ruined it — and it begins with the not-so-exciting freestyle round.

Magic Johnson told the crowd that John Wall “brought the dunk contest back” after his contest-winning dunk to close the night. Unfortunately, Johnson is absolutely delirious.

The NBA got this one wrong. In fact, they got the entire All-Star Weekend wrong this year. Instead of keeping it more individually-based in its competitions, the league decided to take a team approach. Not only was the dunk contest a bore, so was the skills contest. The three-point contest could have been much better if it was every man for himself, disregarding the conferences playing as a team.

It’s unfortunate that the NBA All-Star Weekend has gotten to this point, when it used to be something fans everywhere looked forward to. Now, it’s just a rather dull evening with a few exciting moments sprinkled in.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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