Paul George to compete in Slam Dunk Contest

February 16, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Pacers guard Paul George was named Thursday as a participant in the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest as part of NBA All-Star 2012. Last week, George was also named as a participant in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, to be held on the Friday night of All-Star Weekend.

“It’s exciting and I’m surprised,” said Paul George. “But I’m grateful to get this opportunity to showcase my abilities in the dunk contest. It’s a different system this year but I’ll look at the flashiness and flair of the guys that have been in the previous contests. I’ve got a lot of tricks.”

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 three players who will join George in the Sprite Slam Dunk championship on Feb. 25, at Amway Center in Orlando (TNT, 8 p.m. ET) include the Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger, 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 also will 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 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.

In conjunction with George’s selection to the Dunk Contest, the Pacers are offering a special ticket promotion. Click here to purchase Krieg DeVaul Club Level tickets for only $24.