NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2009 -- Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith has been chosen to replace the injured Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, Ariz. on Feb. 14, the league announced today.
Smith, in his third season with Denver, is averaging career-highs of 13.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 2.7 apg in a career-best 27.7 minutes per contest through 50 games this season.
The Nuggets’ high-flyer will be making his second appearance in the annual Slam Dunk Contest. As a member of the New Orleans Hornets, he finished third in the 2005 Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. Smith will become the fifth Nuggets player to appear in an official NBA Slam Dunk Contest, joining Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (sixth place in 1993), Robert Pack (second in 1994), Darvin Ham (fourth in 1997) and Chris Andersen (third in 2004).
The 2009 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be held in conjunction with the NBA All-Star Saturday Night festivities on Feb. 14 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, beginning at 6:00 pm MST live on TNT.