The 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is one of the most-anticipated events on All-Star Weekend, and this year we’ll have a returning runner-up trying to fend off some of the league’s best dunkers.
That’s a small field of contestants, but no doubt the league is trying to cut back on downtime as fans have lagged in anticipation of the once-heralded event over the years.
Per the NBA, here are the rules:
In the two-round event, participants can perform any dunk they choose. The players have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30.
All four competitors get two dunks in the first round. The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks advance to the head-to-head final round. The player with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round is crowned the champion.
Although 2017 might have been forgettable (Glenn Robinson III won), we did see one of the best dunk contests we’ve seen in years in 2016 as Zach LaVine and Gordon went head-to-head. LaVine came out on top thanks to three straight perfect scores. The Chicago Bulls guard just returned to action from injury and so it makes sense the two-time winner won’t be back to try to block Gordon once again.
Meanwhile, Smith Jr. is one of the league’s best two-footed leapers, Oladipo is incredibly athletic, and Nance Jr. is an incredible in-game dunker.
Saturday has some serious potential, y’all.