Thursday, February 16th, 2012 at 11:00 am  |  95 responses

2012 NBA Dunk Contest: Shumpert, Budinger, George, Williams

by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Once considered the showcase event of All-Star Weekend, the NBA Dunk Contest has lost much of its luster over the years.

The League’s biggest stars don’t want to participate – they usually only take part in it before they truly become superstars – and fans are often disappointed by the selected competitors.

But, it’s all not all bad news this year. Jeremy Lin is here to save the day! Well, sort of.

Lin has been tabbed to “assist” teammate Iman Shumpert in the dunking exhibition:

Sources with knowledge of the league’s plans told ESPN.com that Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert — one of four dunk-contest entrants alongside Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger, Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Derrick Williams — will be enlisting Lin to “assist” him in a manner similar to the help 2011 champion Blake Griffin got from then-Los Angeles Clippers teammate Baron Davis [...] The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that the NBA is expected to make Lin part of the field for the Haier Shooting Stars competition during All-Star Saturday night, which would enable him to join Shumpert’s dunk routine as well. NBA commissioner David Stern told USA Today earlier this week that Lin will not be a special late addition to the annual Rising Stars game featuring rookies and second-year players All-Star Weekend.

Griffin is not defending his dunk title, but sources said that the annual dunk contest has a new format which will consist of only one round and in which the winner will be solely determined by fan vote. All four competitors in the 2012 dunk field are first-timers and will be formally announced later Thursday, sources said. Each entrant will get three dunks, with fan voting to open after the foursome completes their first dunks.

The new format for the competition – tweet your votes! – is an attempt by the NBA to get fans excited about the event, and though noble, it doesn’t change the fact that no marquee names are taking part in this year’s NBA Dunk Contest.

No offense, Jeremy Lin.

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  • robb


  • pacmac

    Paul George by a landslide.

  • SEAN

    Gonna be a wack dunk contest I could see it

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well this is between George and Shumpert. That’s for damn sure.

  • chris

    king george and budinger will make it exciting. stuff i’ve seen online from george over the summer was crazy. check out chase’s footage from the mcdonalds all american dunk contest- some of what he did then could win now.

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    Not much faith in the new system especially fan voting sucks a lot.
    Last year it wasnt even as terrible as the nate robinson years.
    But i hope were going to see some original dunks and no more props.

  • http://slamonline.com steve

    Hmmm I wonder who’s going to win the fan vote if Linsanity makes an appearance?… Sounds like a joke instead of a contest.

  • Ldub

    my money is on derrick williams from Minn. But this is probably the worst cast of “dunkers” for the contest since ive been watching it! Horrible, Not worth my time.

  • Sizzle

    They don’t need to redo the format, they should just make it interesting from a financial standpoint. Put between 1-2 millie on the line and more players will want to participate. A couple K is like 10 bucks to these cats.

  • el_larsen

    budinger can jump.he s the underdog ,why not a brent barry?

  • angus

    3 point contest will be more exciting than this ish, where you at Westbrook, blake, bron, and d rose?

  • AD

    this might be good.. paul george is a beast, budinger can dunk but idk bout shump…. derick williams seems to be a ingame dunker but we’ll see. Lebron ,drose, westbrook just needs to rest

  • ripslam

    I’d bet on Williams myself. Dude is a filthy dunker. But seriously, only one guy (George) with more than two years in the league?

  • tonsoffunk

    Dudes… am I blind. I don’t see Jeremy Evans name on this list. This is wrong “the human pogo stick” probably has more dunks per minute than any one in the L. C’MON, let’s make it happen N.B.A.!

  • Rashiodonics

    Just put Lin in everything… no other contestants are needed. And rename the whole event to All – Lin weekend. Ratings will be through the roof.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Has Nick Young ever been able to compete in the Dunk Comp? On another note, Fan Voting is so dumb for this contest.

  • bt

    fan voting in the dunk contest is a joke … also bring vince and j-rich back im sure they’d still win this year.

  • add

    dam really

  • http://www.slamonline.com the_unknown

    this dunk contest has potential to be worse than the one on all star weekend 2010 in dallas.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    PG is nice, Shump is nice, DWill has some bounce, Bud has some hops too but I don’t know bout his dunks tho.

  • http://Aol.com Kyle

    If they offer Derrick Williams and Beasley I don’t see how you can say no.

  • Bt

    I think the dunk contest has ran it’s course

  • http://Quitplayin quitplayin

    i think the year with wallace and nate etc was a a worse line-up but i really hoped for mcgee again, he was such a creative guy

  • LP

    Continue the dunk contest. Shumpert should take this, i saw some things during the summer that were eye-openers…

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Rest in Peace.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I don’t wanna see any stupid props this year. Just be creative.

  • LP

    let Shannon dunk!!

  • QWOP

    yeah they should put a few mil as the prize and more players will want to participate

  • http://facebook.com/tronjohnson Chief

    Chase Budinger? Really? Well it will be nice to see Iman and DWill 2.0 go at it in the finals

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHoliday

    Yeaaa, so I’ll be playing NBA2k during this dunk contest!

  • Myung

    Really weak group of guys, especially if the NBA is trying to draw in the casual sports fan. All of us have heard of these guys, but how many people outside of diehard hoop heads know who these guys are? More people will tune in to see Rubio (for Williams) and Lin (for Shump) than the actual dunkers. I guess for the sake of ratings, the NBA would like to see Shump and Williams in the Finals so they can squeeze out a little more Lin and Rubio. Maybe one or both of them will steal the show the way Nash did in the 2005 Dunk Contest (when he teamed up with Amare).

  • JoeMaMa

    I agree with Sizzle. The league should either go big with this contest and put up $1 million, or cancel it. The dunk contest made its name through Jordan, Wilkins, Dr. J…shoot, even Harold Miner, when he was in it, was considering “the next Jordan”. That didn’t work out, but man, throughout the 80s and most of the 90s, it was BIG. And you KNOW that the league can find some corporate sponsor to put down a mil for a contest that would likely include LeBron, Blake, Wade…and more. Why isn’t this happening?!?!

  • wesjet23

    Stop complaining about these groups of dunkers, George is crazy, Budinger is very underated, Iman’s summer mixtape has some ridiculous dunks, and Dwill is an athletic freak

  • DeeDre

    Chase Budinger?….that’s not how you spell Demar Derozan

  • DeeDre

    But serious though Chase might do alright. He was the runner up in the Mc Donalds dunk contest so we might be in for a pleasant surprise. Never seen him dunk though

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    fan voting in general is a complete joke

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    ^ Co-sign. Little star power, but this won’t be boring in the slightest. Chase has boosties, but what can he do in a contest?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Boston George wins going away.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    can some one please explain why they keep on using 4 guys every year, two guys lay egg and the contest ends up being wack. Used to be more participants back in the day. you could easily att 4 more. jeremy evans, terrence williams, deandre jordan, shannon brown(i know) (but still)

  • Paul H

    This will be so boring fans will be falling into comas In the stands.

  • ctk

    its only considered weak to people cuz they not great bball players so to speak…..neither was SpudWebb,HaroldMiner,GeraldGreen,TerranceStanbury,n the list goes on ….it can be a good contest …just atleast wait n see first

  • Dirtybird

    ^Good points, it should be better than last years using 30 minutes for setting up props.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shumpert is the best athlete coming out of the draft in a LONG time. ANd Paul George is a freakshow. Those two will atleast do something exciting.

  • http://Www.slamonline.com TADOne

    I’m not even sure why people are questioning Budinger?! Did anyone see him play at Arizona?? Dude has springs in his legs.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Because it doesn’t just take the ability to jump high. Like LeBron, who has ridiculous ups, is not a very good dunk contest guy (which is also why I don’t think he ever did it, because he knows he has no shot to actually win).

  • DJ

    How about giving the winner $100,000, that’ll bring in some semi-big names.

  • Sizzle

    Hell now that I think about it, they should just have the dunk competition at half-time of the all-star game. 2 dunks per player (for those that can dunk). Break off a millie for it. Sit and Enjoy the show..

  • http://Www.slamonline.com TADOne

    I saw Budinger dunk in a high school contest and he was pretty good.

  • BP

    Sterbot is certainly seeking to squeeze every extra dollar out of using and marketing Lin that he can.

    Leagues need to move to a salary system that includes a big component of variable pay (a bonus system). Base + bonus, bonus based upon how well the league does for revenue and how your performance was relative to other players.

  • SwissArmyKnife5

    Man if the stars ain’t gonna dunk they need to cancel it, and have a one on one tournament. Each team would have one player to represent them. The prize should be 1 mil make it happen David Stern.

  • SwissArmyKnife5

    One on One tournament single elimination winner gets 1 million dollars.

  • startown

    Williams from MN has explosive hops, only Blake Griffin or Lebron would hit his head on the rim conistently and Williams has been eye level on at least two dunks that I have seen

  • Kadavour

    too many of you are into names and not talent.

  • EJ

    Whoever gets help from Lin wins.

  • EJ

    Fan voting sucks


    Williams will win.




    I support SwissArmyKnife . 1 on 1 would be Sic as.

  • LaKid

    Lot of people are hatin’ on this lineup (I’ve seen idiots who know nothing about basketball posting on facebook and twitter all day saying Who,Who, Who and Who?) but I’m not mad at it. These are young fellas who have been throwing down some pretty nice dunks and clearly have some hops. I’ll take PG FTW with Budinger as the dark horse.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    1) Chase has got some hops. 2) where the hell is Jeremy Evans on this list?? 3) if Lin is assisting Shump and fans are voting…the bandwagon is gonna steamroll the votes.

  • bike

    Budinger should get the white vote majority if he can pull off his patented payroll tax cut dunk.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    I mean, I think they can all do better stuff than last years winner did.

  • Heals

    Bummed by the final list cause it lacks creativity and that wow factor. Shump and Williams can dunk, but can they Dunk-dunk? Chase is the white-hope and PGeo is in the JSmith mold, but I haven’t seen him do the in-game stuff that J-Smoove does. Here’s hoping I’m wrong…

  • Paul H

    @Kadavour, More often than not the names have talent.

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    They really need to have non-NBA participants get a shot. Either an amateur (ie. winner of the Sprite Dunk Contest), or the winner of the D-League Dunk Contest.
    People love underdog stories, isn’t that right Mr. Lin?

  • underdog

    Man, fan voting sucks. This means Shumpert is going to win because Lin is his lob-man. Imho George is the best in-game dunker in the lineup.

  • R. Deahn

    We’ve lost gorgeous George….


    Shump should have been invited to the Rising Stars Challenge based on his defensive ability alone, but at least he’ll get to shine in the dunk contest with Lin. When I think about it, the Knicks have been fortunate finding some nice young talent for their team of late, with the additions of Lin, Shump, and Jorts. Even J.R. Smith who can play 2 and 3 is only 26 years old. Bottom line, Knicks are loading up on young talent. I like it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=542782613 The White Steve Smith

    Wheres Metta World Peace? This is a travesty. I wont be tuning in.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    why didn’t they just get Lin as a participant? he’s gonna win even if he misses all the dunks.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    but the rating (aka revenue) will be through the roof.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Chase will win this.

  • D12FSU

    will rubio be assisting williams?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCJwoEHRU_A&feature=related TheKid

    First of all Budinger has been in league the same amount of time,if not longer, than Paul George. AND Budinger used to be a WORLD CLASS volleyball play and if you know anything about sports, you’ll know volleyballers can jump out the gym…Shumpert can also get up. He has vids on youtube. I believe this will be a good contest besides the point of only being one round…SMGDH

  • Jose

    You know Jeremey Lin is going to win it with the Asian population/vote Behind him : just like Yao In every all-star game. . lol

  • http://www.nba.com VanCityBBall

    budinger? seriously??? id rather see a dunk contest with CP3, Steve Nash, Ricky Rubio and JJ Barea

  • Jerome

    Why not let fans pick the participants? Seems like there would be more viewers and all-important Tweets.

  • Eli

    ONE ROUND? With THAT cast of dunkers? wow. snoozefest. does anyone see the reasoning behind the new format? there used to be 8 dunkers and 3 rounds. now it’s down to 4 and 1.

  • Youngindy21

    So its safe to say that Paul George will be winning this contest. He is the only one worthy of being in the contest besides Derrick Williams.

  • Mike Jones

    Shumpert is the man in 2k12, can dunk over any one at any time and i expect the dunk contest to be no different.

  • hushabomb

    How about getting back to the old school. $100000 on the line. 8 players. 3 dunks per round. Winner take all.

  • http://www.nba.com VanCityBBall

    they spelled DeMar DeRozan wrong… 4 times

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    Lin’s gonna get no rest this all-star weekend.
    AWESOME for us fans.

  • Dma

    Jose you mad Latinos didn’t get a representative this year?

  • http://www.nba.com Red

    Yeah George SHOULD win it but won’t.


    They were going to use Brandon Jennings last year & hes a pretty wack dunka. Just the way it goes. Man up!

  • http://tempdog1 Tempest

    Shumpert’s got this! Dude can get up. Plus he’ll get a few billion votes from Jeremy Linn fans

  • Klemperer

    I guess in a lockout year everything is cut in half

  • http://blogspot.com LLC#12

    I dislike the guy, but I’d like to see Nick Young in a dunk contest..

  • Liam

    Lin will win this.

  • EJ

    @Klemperer, Kobe’s wife got half of the dunk contest too.

  • Myung

    Interesting that 3 of the 4 play on teams that had dunk contest winners before (JR Rider, Nate Robinson, and Fred Jones) so maybe they’ll pay homage to those guys like Josh Smith did with the Nique jersey in 2005. And even though Kenny Smith never won, he did compete as a Rocket so maybe Chase can pay homage to him. There’s so little creativity remaining that homage dunks are just about all that’s left.

  • Myung

    Oh, and 49th birthday, Michael Jordan. Not that I remember your birthday or anything. Or named my son Jordan. Or named my dog MJ. Or have all your DVD’s, books, 20+ pairs of Air Jordans, 2 of your replica jerseys, and a big painting of you in my house.

  • Myung

    “Happy” should’ve been in there somewhere.

  • Smecham

    I think Jeremy Evans would dunk circles around each of these guys… He just is in a small market with limited minuets…