Blog Entry

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

Posted on: February 16, 2012 10:25 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 12:04 pm
Posted by Royce Young

He won't be dunking, but Linsanity could have a role in the dunk contest. (Getty Images)

The 2012 dunk contest participants will be Paul George of the Pacers, Derrick Williams of the Timberwolves, Iman Shumpert of the Knicks and Chase Budinger of the Rockets, the NBA announced Thursday.

But that's not all. I guess in an effort to spice up the field as well as find a way to work Linsanity into All-Star Weekend, Jeremy Lin will also be playing a part. According to, Lin will be "assisting" Shumpert in some way, much in the same way Baron Davis helped out Blake Griffin at last year's contest.

The New York Daily News also reported that Lin would be part of the "Shooting Stars" competition, meaning he'd already be in the arena for All-Star Saturday night. David Stern has already said that Lin would not be a late addition to the Rising Stars game.

There will be a revamped format that will feature only one round and be voted on only by the fans. There no longer will be judges in the event, which also will be reduced to one round. Each contestant will execute three dunks. Fans will determine the champion by voting on, Twitter or through text messaging. The format in recent years was two rounds, with a panel of judges voting on the first round before fan voting in the second.

As for the actual contest, it's a pretty weak field with no big name stars. Actually, when you really look it over, it might the weakest there's ever been. No disrespect to the participants, but none are exactly well known players to the casual NBA fan. Maybe Williams, just because the was the No. 2 overall pick.

Last year featured Blake Griffin, JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka and DeMar DeRozan, four fairly well known players. This year has two rookies and two role players. Not exactly an eye-popping group. But let's break the field down anyway.

I'd say the early favorite has to be Williams, who is a bit in the Griffin mold of a big man with freakish leaping ability. He can always employ his teammate Ricky Rubio, who surely could zip a fancy pass Williams' way. Paul George is long and can jump. Budinger participated in the McDonald's All-American dunk contest in high school and has always been known as a big leaper.

But it might be hard to top Shumpert. Not because he's some fantastic dunker, but because of this being a fan vote thing and if he indeed brings along Lin, the people will likely speak on the side of the not just the Knicks, but of Lin.

I suppose the NBA is banking on Lin's "assisting" star power to give this contest a bump. Players are less and less inclined to participate in the event for the risk of injury and just the fact it's a stressful thing to add to an already busy weekend. Plus, the league sees it as an opportunity to welcome new faces to the casual fan with the possibility one of the guys does something unexpected and amazing. Vince Carter was a rising star, but he exploded as a household name after his dunk contest performance.

It might be a weak group lacking big names, but we'll all be watching anyway. And if you've watched much Paul George or Derrick Williams, you know that those two can fly. Who knows, we might be in for a pleasant surprise.

Since: Apr 4, 2011
Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:21 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

i'll be watching.

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:18 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

Come-on man.............. I thought they were trying to revitalize the dunk competition starting with last year? They need to make this years even more impresive from last years if they want people to continue to watch. First of all they need more contestants like it used to be.  How about Lebron, Howard, Griffin, and Rose and expand it by adding dark horses like Deandre Jordan, John Wall, Rudy Gay, Alonzo Gee or Christian Eyenga from the Cavs, Jan Vesely, etc...........

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:01 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

Wow Stern bad decision.  If Lin was in the game people would actually watch it this year.  The guy is making the league a fortune and sorry David it's not your game.  It's the fans game.  Lastly why isn't Shumpert in the game?  He's leading rookies in half the categories

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2012 5:27 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

They should get rid of the extra all star stuff, just get rid of the skills, 3pt and dunk contest, just have the Rookies vs Sophs ,and get a game of horse with some NBA stars of today and some of the past, but that would be tricky since i doubt bird or barkley could do dunks period  let alone ones that griffin and james does. Just saying come up with a different format...and im sick and tired of this LIN stuff being jammed down my throat by the writers on every sports page and every 3 secs on ESPN......

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2012 4:45 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

Garbage.  I took the night off from work a month ago, I will be asking for my hours back.

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2012 4:43 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

I still think it's worth wathing.  Shump actually has some hops.

Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:58 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

 I don't see alot of people tuning in to watch these guys....better call up Dominique, Drexler, and Spud Webb.

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:54 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

So you'd rather see Chase Budinger vs. Paul George compete than LeBron vs. Blake? OK. have at it.

Since: Apr 7, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:36 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

2 rookies and 2 role players says all you need to know about this years contest..zzzzzzzzzz

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2012 3:25 pm

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

I don't understand what they are thinking here. I wouldn't go to this for free. Like, I'm not kidding. If they gave me tickets I would throw them away. If they NBA doesn't care enough about the dunk contest to make their real stars get involved then why should fans care about it at all.

If you aren't going to make it a big deal, get rid of it. This field is terrible.

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