Dunk Contest, Paul George, John Wall, Damian Lillard, New OrleansThe official Sprite Slam Dunk contest participants were announced yesterday and it’s expected to be one of the best in recent years.  Not only do we have a great new list of players, there’s also a new set of rules.

1. Teams will be split up into East (Terrence Ross, Paul George and John Wall) and West (Harrison Barnes, Damian Lillard and Ben McLemore). The teams will be working together and competing against each other.  Team and individual awards will be given at the end.

2. The first round will be “Freestyle” where dunkers can pack in as many dunks as they want in 90 seconds.  It’s also like a layup line similar to what players do during pregame shootaround.  The judges select the winning team and they can decide whether to go first or second in the next round.

3. The second round is the “Battle” round.  The three dunkers on each team will be paired off for a series of head-to-head battles, with the judges selecting a winner from each. When a dunker loses a battle, he’s eliminated from the competition, and the remaining contestants continue to go head-to-head until one of the teams wins three battles. That team will be the Slam Dunk Champions for the night.

4. The best dunker of the night will still be decided by the fans.

The changes definitely switched things up for a dunk contest that was losing it’s sparkle.  Whether it’ll help is yet to be seen but it definitely makes things interesting.

Like the changes?

h/t USA Today

– Shaina Auxilly (@Shay_Marie)