NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2007 – New York’s Nate Robinson will defend his crown in the 2007 Sprite Slam Dunk competition to be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by EA SPORTS™, Feb. 17 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Robinson will compete against three first-time entrants – Boston’s Gerald Green, who is an alumnus of the NBA Development League, Orlando’s Dwight Howard and Chicago’s Tyrus Thomas – for this year’s title.

Last year in Houston, the 5-9 Robinson outlasted Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala 47-46 in a dunk-off to become only the second sub-6-foot winner in contest history joining Spud Webb, the 1986 champion. Webb provided the bounce pass for Robinson’s only 50-point dunk of the competition.

Golden State’s Jason Richardson was the last player to win back-to-back Sprite Slam Dunk titles capturing the 2002 and 2003 competitions. The only previous repeat Slam Dunk champion was Chicago’s Michael Jordan, who won the 1987 and 1988 contests.

The judges of this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk competition will include Jordan, who is the all-time All-Star Game scoring leader with 262 points in 14 appearances; 1985 and 1990 Slam Dunk champion and Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins; 1997 Slam Dunk winner and starting guard for this year’s Western Conference All-Stars Kobe Bryant; 2000 Slam Dunk winner and 2007 Eastern Conference All-Star reserve Vince Carter and 11-time NBA All-Star and Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving.

There are two rule changes for this year’s competition: Upon receiving the ball from the referee, players will have a two-minute time limit to complete their dunk. If a player hasn’t completed a dunk when the two-minute clock expires, he will have two more attempts to do so. Also new this year is the use of television instant replay, at the discretion of the referee, for clarification of rules compliance.

The Sprite Slam Dunk will be broadcast live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by EA SPORTS, which will also feature the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam; Sprite Slam Dunk; Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout; PlayStation® Skills Challenge; Haier Shooting Stars; NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, the league’s interactive event that attracts more than 100,000 fans each year; and the 56th NBA All-Star Game.

Sprite is the world’s leading lemon-lime soft drink and has been the official soft drink of the NBA since 1994. The brand’s association with the NBA and players like LeBron James help to reinforce Sprite’s straightforward attitude and “subLYMONAL” message.

Below is a list of previous winners and the lineup for the 2007 Sprite Slam Dunk:

SPRITE SLAM DUNK YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS
1984—Larry Nance, Phoenix
1985—Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1986—Spud Webb, Atlanta
1987—Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988—Michael Jordan, Chicago
1989—Kenny Walker, New York
1990—Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1991—Dee Brown, Boston
1992—Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix
1993—Harold Miner, Miami
1994—Isaiah Rider, Minnesota
1995—Harold Miner, Miami
1996—Brent Barry, L.A. Clippers
1997—Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2000—Vince Carter, Toronto
2001—Desmond Mason, Seattle
2002—Jason Richardson, Golden State
2003—Jason Richardson, Golden State
2004—Fred Jones, Indiana
2005—Josh Smith, Atlanta
2006—Nate Robinson, New York

2007 SPRITE SLAM DUNK COMPETITORS

Participant, TeamPos.Ht.Wt.
Gerald Green, BostonF6-8200
Dwight Howard, OrlandoC6-11265
Nate Robinson, New YorkG5-9180
Tyrus Thomas, ChicagoF6-9215