NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest: Iman Shumpert Out, Jeremy Evans In? - Bleacher Report

Per HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy, New York Knicks' point guard Iman Shumpert will not be participating in this year's slam dunk contest during All-Star Weekend—and the Utah Jazz's Jeremy Evans will be replacing him.

On Monday night, Shumpert sat out of the game against the New Jersey Nets due to the nagging tendinitis in his left knee. He'll take the All-Star break off to rest.

It's a shame, as Shumpert was considered by a lot of people to be a favorite to win. His athleticism is off the charts, and he's already a proven dunker. In these video highlights of the Impact League during the lockout (1:01-1:14 for Shumpert highlights), Shump gives us a little taste of what he's capable of.

Another reason many fans will be disappointed is because Asian-American sensation Jeremy Lin, who was supposed to assist Shumpert with a dunk or two, will not be in the event with Shump out.

Lin's impact would've been minimal, but as a fan favorite whose popularity has skyrocketed due to the "Linsanity" craze—him just being there would probably attract a good amount of viewers by itself.

Shumpert will be replaced by Utah's Jeremy Evans. Evans is a very athletic forward-center who has established himself as a fan favorite in Utah due to his high-flying tendencies, but he is at the bottom of a deep and talented big-man Jazz rotation.

Without both Lin and Shumpert, this year's All-Star slam dunk contest now severely lacks names that will draw views. Houston's Chase Budinger, Indiana's Paul George, Minnesota's Derrick Williams and Evans are all talented players as well as dunkers—but they are hardly household names. 

Many casual fans may decide not to watch the dunk contest, and as the main draw of All-Star Saturday—that means many fans may skip out on the entire show altogether.

Will you watch the All-Star slam dunk contest on Saturday night?

However, that's not to say this dunk contest will be a weak one. The players involved don't have much of a reputation as dunkers in the NBA, but they are all incredibly athletic guys that are capable of putting on a show.

Budinger has thrown down nice jams before, as has George. Williams, in his first year of his NBA career, has already slammed home a couple of nice jams—and will undoubtedly bring along Ricky Rubio for the ride. Evans is the least well-known name of all the guys here, but he's just as impressive of a dunker as the rest of them, being a guy who was signed primarily for his athletic potential.

I'll be watching for sure, and I recommend everyone else to watch as well. No doubt expectations will be low for a lot of people, but given the athleticism these guys have—odds are they'll give us a pretty good dunk contest.

22 Feb, 2012


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