John Wall, Paul George and Terrence Ross helped the Eastern Conference take home the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest title, beating the Western Conference as Wall took home Dunker of the Night honours.
The Wizards’ point guard, who will also participate in the All-Star game, stole the show with a reverse dunk over Washington’s mascot, G-Man. The mascot held the ball over his head before Wall jumped over him, double clutched the ball and finished on the other side of the hoop.
The dunk gave Wall the win in his “battle” with Kings’ rookie Ben McLemore, earning the East a 3-0 sweep over the West in the second round of the contest.
McLemore also decided to jump over someone for his attempt, leaping over Sacramento part owner Shaquille O’Neal who was seated like a king in a throne. However, the youngsters highflying attempt was overshadowed by Wall’s incredible slam.
Earlier in the round, reigning champion Terrence Ross defeated Blazers’ guard Damian Lillard – appearing in his third event of the night – with a through-the-legs jam thanks to an assist from rapper Drake.
While Pacers’ All-Star Paul George defeated Warriors’ forward Harrison Barnes with the nights second best dunk, putting the ball between his legs as he slammed home a reverse 360.
This year’s contest featured a new format.
Instead of each dunker completing several dunks to be graded 0-50 by the judges, the first round was a “freestyle” round which saw each conference complete their dunks as teams.
The contest’s three judges – Magic Johnson, Dominique Wilkins and Julius Erving – then voted for a victorious conference.
After winning the freestyle round, the Eastern Conference team was allowed to chose the order of the “battle” round, which saw each conference pit their high-flyers against one another until one conference had three dunkers eliminated.
After a winning conference was determined, viewers were given the chance to vote for a “Dunker of the Night”.
The new format was met with mixed reviews, and the NBA will again be looking for a way to revitalise the contest next season after another underwhelming performance.