NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2014: Participants, rules, TV schedule, start time and more

Ronald Martinez

On Saturday on TNT, Terrence Ross will look to defend his Slam Dunk crown in a new format, teaming up with All-Stars Paul George and John Wall in the Eastern Conference.

SB Nation 2014 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Coverage

The Slam Dunk contest is everybody's favorite event, but in recent years, it has lacked star power. That isn't the case this time, with three All-Stars taking part. Here's the list of participants:

Eastern Conference

Paul George, Indiana Pacers

Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors

John Wall, Washington Wizards

Western Conference

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors

Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings

This year's format is sort of complicated and definitely different from what we're used to. While last year's competition also featured six competitors divided into Eastern and Western Conference categories, this time the conferences will actually be treated as teams.

In the first round, the Freestyle Round, each dunker will have 90 seconds to do as many dunks as he wants. When that's over, a panel of judges will then decide the winning conference.

The dunkers from that winning conference will get to choose whether to go first or second in the East vs. West dunking matchups that will take place in the second round, the Battle Round. Judges will pick the winner of each battle, with the first team to win three head-to-head matchups declared the winner of the competition. Yes, this means there will be no more 50s, just "winners."

If you are confused about how a team can be crowned the winner of what has always been an individual competition, so are we. There will sort of still be an individual champion, though -- fans will be able to vote online for the "Sprite Slam Dunker of the Night" via text, Twitter, and the NBA GameTime app.

The 2014 Slam Dunk competition will air on TNT as a part of All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 15, which begins at 8:30 p.m. ET. As always, it will be the last of the four events, and the broadcast is scheduled to end at about 11 p.m. ET. Here's hoping the new rules don't ruin what looks like a promising contest, given the dunking talent on hand.

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