The 2012 NBA Slam Dunk contest just got shaken up a bit, with one of the bright young stars unable to throw down for the weekend.
The NBA announced today that Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans has been added to this year’s dunk contest that will be held on Feb. 25 at Amway Center in Orlando (TNT, 6 p.m. MT). Evans joins a group of three other players in the Slam Dunk that features a series of firsts, including four first-time participants, a new single-round format in which the winner will be chosen solely by fan vote, and the introduction of fan voting via Twitter.
A 2010 second-round draft pick (55th overall) out of Western Kentucky, 61 of Evans’ 88 made shots over his first two years have been dunks, 30 of those on alley-oops. His dunk percentage of 69.3 percent is the highest in the NBA over the last two seasons. The 6-9, 194-pound high-riser owns career averages of 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds per game.
Evans becomes the sixth player in Jazz history selected to participate in the event, joining Darrell Griffith (1984, 1985), Blue Edwards (1990, 1991), David Benoit (1993), Jamie Watson (1995) and DeShawn Stevenson (2001).
In addition to Evans, the three other players who will vie for the Sprite Slam Dunk championship include the Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger, the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Derrick Williams.
A new format will be implemented for the 2012 competition. The contest will consist of only one round and each competitor will execute three dunks. Fan voting will open after all four players have completed their first dunk. Previously, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest consisted of two rounds, with the first round scored by a panel of judges which determined two finalists.
Full coverage of the weekend is on InsideHoops.com.
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