A first-time champion is guaranteed to be the winner of the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Weekend. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zach LaVine, Mason Plumlee and Victor Oladipo will compete in the event, having never been in the competition.
The rules for this year’s contest will differ from last year’s competition. Each participant will get two dunks on a maximum of three attempts for each dunk, with no time limits. Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, Nate Archibald, Bernard King and Chris Mullin will serve as the judges awarding scores of 6-10 for each dunk.
The contestants with the top two combined scores will advance to the second and final round. The first-round rules will apply to the finals, where the player with the highest score will be named the winner.
Last year’s competition was made up of six contestants, and they were divided into two groups. Team East featured Paul George, Terrance Ross and eventual winner John Wall. They defeated Team West, which was made up of Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes and Ben McLemore, in three head-to-head matchups. Wall won the title through a fan vote on social media.
The contest hasn’t seen a repeat winner since Nate Robinson did it in 2009 and 2010. The former New York Knick also won the award in 2006.
Ross won the competition as a rookie in 2013, and a first-year player is projected to take home the trophy in 2015. LaVine is the odds-on favorite to win the contest, while Plumlee is the biggest underdog.
This year’s All-Star Game will be held at Madison Square Garden, but the Slam Dunk Contest, as well as the rest of Saturday’s competitions, are set to take place in Brooklyn. The All-Star Game last visited New York City in 1998, but it was the first time since the event first took place in 1984 that there was no Slam Dunk Contest.
Location: Barclays Center
TV Channel: TNT
Online Stream: TNT Overtime