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NBA Changes Slam Dunk Contest Format

Basketball Insiders

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This year’s event will feature the participants competing as a team – three players representing the Eastern Conference and three players representing the Western Conference – in an above-the-rim two-round format.

In a significant first in the event’s history, the competition will tip off with a Freestyle Round where the dunkers for each conference will have 90 seconds to showcase as many dunks as they want.  At the conclusion of the Freestyle Round, the panel of judges will then choose a winner by voting “East” or “West.”  The winning conference will earn the advantage of deciding whether its dunkers will dunk first or second in the head-to-head battles that take place in the Battle Round.

The Battle Round will feature head-to-head matchups pitting East dunkers vs. West dunkers, with the judges choosing a winner for each battle.  Upon losing a head-to-head battle, that dunker is then eliminated from the competition.  The first team to win three battles will win the competition and be crowned 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk champions.

The participants are Terrence Ross, Paul George, John Wall, Damian Lillard, Ben McLemore and Harrison Barnes.

After the competition, fans will also have the opportunity to vote for the player of their choice as “Dunker of the Night” through SMS, Twitter, NBA.com and the NBA GameTime app.

via NBA press release

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Report: Bulls’ Mirotic, Portis Involved in Serious Practice Altercation

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Chicago Bulls forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis engaged in a physical altercation in practice Tuesday that resulted in Mirotic being hospitalized and sidelined indefinitely, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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Sources: Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge Agree on Extension

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San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has reached agreement on a contract extension, league sources tell ESPN. The deal includes a partial guarantee in the third year.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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LeBron James Still Uncertain for Season Opener

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LeBron James tested his injured left ankle during a portion of practice Sunday, but it’s still not known if he’ll play in Cleveland’s season opener.

James has been slowed since spraining his ankle in practice on Sept. 27. The three-time NBA champion sat out the Cavaliers’ first three exhibition games before making his debut last week against Chicago. He played 30 minutes but may have aggravated his ankle while making a spin move in the loss.

Source: USA Today Sports

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