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Thursday February 16, 2012 1:32 AM

Jam Session


Rockets' Budinger among four to compete in 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk


NBA.com

NEW YORK - The 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk in Orlando will feature a series of firsts, including four-first time participants, a new single-round format in which the winner will be chosen solely by fan vote, and the introduction of fan voting via Twitter.

The four players who will vie for the Sprite Slam Dunk championship on Feb. 25, at Amway Center in Orlando (TNT, 8pm ET) include the Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger, the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George, the New York Knicks’ Iman Shumpert, and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Derrick Williams.

A new format will be implemented for the 2012 competition. The contest will consist of only one round and each competitor will execute three dunks. Fan voting will open after all four players have completed their first dunk. Previously, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest consisted of two rounds, with the first round scored by a panel of judges which determined two finalists.

Beginning this year, only fan voting will be utilized in determining the winner and voting will also expand to social media. For the first time ever, fans will be able to cast votes on Twitter by posting a corresponding letter assigned to each dunker along with the hashtag #SpriteSlam. Since 2008, fans have determined the winner of the Sprite Slam Dunk through SMS TXT and voting on NBA.com as part of the “They Dunk. You Decide” campaign.

The Sprite Slam Dunk is part of NBA All-Star 2012, which also includes the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm featuring the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Haier Shooting Stars and Taco Bell Skills Challenge; NBA All-Star Jam Session; and the 61st NBA All-Star Game.

Sprite, the world’s leading lemon-lime soft drink, has been the official soft drink of the NBA since 1994 and the title partner of the All-Star Slam Dunk competition since 2003.

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—Gerald Green, Boston
2008—Dwight Howard, Orlando
2009—Nate Robinson, New York
2010—Nate Robinson, New York
2011—Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers

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