New York Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert will not participate in the NBA's 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in Orlando because of a left knee injury and will be replaced by Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, reports say.
Shumpert, who sat out the game the Knicks lost to the New Jersey Nets on Monday because of the injury, was among a pool of first-time dunk contest participants, which also include Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Derrick Williams, Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger and Indiana Pacers forward Paul George.
According to CBSSports.com's Dunk-O-Meter, Evans (L) has only 12 dunks this year in 16 game appearances. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
Now, Evans, a second-year role player, will also be in the contest for his first time, although he may not add much hype to perhaps an already unpopular field. He has played in only 16 games this year, averaging 5.6 minutes and 1.7 points per game.
Evans wish to play in the contest, though, might have come true as YouTube videos of him dunking at the Jazz's practice facility ended with the phrase #LetJeremyDunk appearing on the screen. One features Evans dunking over teammate Earl Watson while another features the forward catching a bounce pass from another teammate off the wall and slamming it home with one hand.
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With Shumpert out, that means no Jeremy Lin, as Lin was prepared to assist the rookie guard in his routine. Lin, however, will be playing in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge that pits two teams-one coached by Shaquille O' Neal and the other by Charles Barkley-of rookies and sophomores against one another.
This year, the dunk contest will have a new format which will consist of only one round and in which the winner will be solely determined by fan vote-via Twitter for the first time, in addition to online and text voting. Each participant will get three dunks, with fan voting to open after the four participants complete their first dunks.
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