By Official Release
Posted Feb 10 2009 11:23PM
PHOENIX -- Denver Nuggets swingman J.R. Smith will replace Memphis forward Rudy Gay in the slam dunk contest.
Gay was forced to pull out Tuesday because of a strained left hip. Smith also competed in the 2005 event.
"I have a few things under my sleeve," Smith said Tuesday after the Nuggets won in Miami. "I can't really talk about it. It's top secret, man."
Defending champion Dwight Howard of Orlando, 2006 winner Nate Robinson of New York, and Portland rookie Rudy Fernandez round out the field.
The dunk contest is the final event of All-Star Saturday night.
The Sprite Slam Dunk will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, PlayStation Skills Challenge and Haier Shooting Stars. TNT and ESPN Radio's national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST from US Airways Center. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15, will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in more than 215 countries and territories in 44 languages.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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