The NBA All-Star weekend allows the NBA to display its best and brightest stars to the world in a variety of exciting and competitive events. However the dunk contest, the fans favorite event, received much criticism in recent years due to the lackluster entertainment, so they decided to revamp the rules. This effort attracted even more disapproval from fans and former players like Tracy McGrady (@Real_T_Mac) who tweeted “LOL they called that a “Dunk Contest?”
Despite stacking the event with some of the leagues’ most exciting players and high flyers many people were left scratching their heads wondering what they had just watched. The new format headed by the new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was designed to make it more of a team event rather than individuals competing against one another. Instead of being able to watch the legendary judging panel throw up the mythical score of “50” they simply held up a dull “East” or “West” signifying which team had won in their opinion. The iconic flare of the contest was extinguished by the confusing “freestyle” format that sent social media into an uproar.
With social media being a tremendous marketing tool in this day and age, the NBA was still able to implement a fan vote. This allowed for fans viewing the event to tweet who they believed was the best dunker. Even then, the crowd and fans at home were confused to see the “Dunker of the Night” awarded to Washington Wizards stud John Wall because it seemed like the contest was just gathering momentum.
The conclusion of the event summed up the night as being an overwhelming disaster for the NBA and its fans. Moving forward, Adam Silver must realize that the event is for the fans and needs to captivate the crowd by truly letting his all-stars perform to their fullest capabilities. Despite the implementation of social media in the event, the NBA needs to go ahead and change the contest either back to its old format or to a more exciting plan for its devoted fan base. In order to capture their audience, Silver must develop a market research team that knows what their customers want.