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Lakers' Brown preparing for his shot at dunking glory

By Bryan Chu, for
Posted Jan 19 2010 12:40AM

LOS ANGELES ( exclusive) -- The advice and the texts have been pouring in since it was announced Monday that Lakers' high-flyer Shannon Brown would be a contestant in the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk contest on Feb. 13.

The 6-foot-3 highlight-reel guard said he hasn't toyed with his dunks, but he is conjuring up ideas.

He admitted he might just ask the nation's most powerful man.

"He probably can show me something," said Brown of talking to President Barack Obama during the Lakers visit to the White House on Jan. 25. "He's left-handed so he has a little art I don't possess...He's probably got a couple moves I can go the other way with."

Joining Brown will be defending dunk champ Nate Robinson of the Knicks, the Bobcats' Gerald Wallace, and the winner of the "dunk-off" between the Clippers' Eric Gordon and the Raptors' DeMar DeRozan.

The early favorites? Three-time participant Dwight Howard has his Fab Two, but wouldn't declare a winner.

"DeMar and Shannon Brown," he said. "(Brown) can jump. It's going to be fun to watch him. He's one of the few guys that can actually jump and win the contest."

As for not picking Robinson, who is going for an unprecedented three dunking crowns?

"He just wants to have fun," Howard said. "He doesn't care about winning or losing. He just wants to give the crowd a good show."

It came as a bit of surprise not to see Howard or LeBron James, who announced during last year's All-Star Weekend he would enter in this year's contest.

"I want to see other people in it," Howard said. "I want other people to have an opportunity. I just want to relax."

In preparation, Brown said he will watch some old dunk contests, but he still needs to iron out the rules of this year's contest before he starts mapping out his aerial assault. He laughed when a reporter asked if he thought of bringing Golden State's Mikki Moore, who was on the end of a vicious Brown dunk earlier this season.

"Nah," said Brown laughing. "I don't know where he is at."

Brown, who volunteered himself in the 2003 High School McDonald's All-American contest (the one James won), becomes just the fourth Laker to compete in the dunk contest, joining Michael Cooper, Antonio Harvey and Kobe Bryant, who won it in 1997.

Getting to compete has been something special for Brown, who remembers the Tim Hardaway basketball camp entering his freshman year of high school as being the first time he realized he had the gift of flight.

"I got a steal (and I was) on the break," Brown said. "I jumped as high as I could and I threw (down a 1-handed dunk). After that, it's been going ever since."

Brown has that uncanny ability to seemingly pause in the air and float, a la Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan and Vince Carter in his prime.

"They call me the Human Helicopter, TNT legs, human pogo stick," Brown said. "They call me anything that's exciting or explosive."

What Brown has done in games and during practices has drawn constant praise from Bryant.

"He jumps higher than me," said Bryant earlier this season. "He jumps higher than Michael [Jordan]. He jumps higher than all of us. We're 6-foot-6; he's 6-foot-1 barely. He's leaping through the roof."

For a highlight reel of Brown's dunk visit

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