That contest felt so forced and so over-produced but most of all, it felt so rushed!
Look, every dunk has been done before(just about), what matters is the anticipation, the build-up, the hype and the execution with personal style. That's where all the excitement comes from. Crowd goes quiet, everyone is watching, and boom something cool happens.
The 'freestyle round' completely killed that out the gate*. The battle round was better to be fair, and I think it was a decent idea, but having that double as the final as well, what the hell were they thinking? At least make it a round robin or a points system with a proper final afterward.
* I actually think the idea of a freestyle round could be a good addition but it can't be 90 seconds. It has to be more like 3-5 minutes if not more and treated more like warm-ups. TNT (or perhaps more accurately the NBA's sponsors) are always shoehorning product BS everywhere, so this could be the opportunity for that. Instead of doing a bunch of commentating and then starting the show, just start the show on the court with the players warming up, grab them for interviews as they go. That could work. But the way they did it was horrific.
It's sad too because you look at that mess and you can reverse engineer it from the committee meetings that would have taken place but they missed it by a country mile.
Then as if that wasn't enough, what the hell was up with the camera angles? They were terrible, the replay angles were terrible. Like, McLemore's dunk really looked great but you had to wait until the third replay angle to see it.
And then the whole event was just over so suddenly.
Ugh. What a waste. To quote a popular sentiment of late. The NBA is a joke.