Shump In the Dunk Contest

Jonah Ballow


Shump will dunk.

The Knicks versatile rookie Iman Shumpert is heading to Orlando for All-Star Weekend to participate in the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Shumpert joins a group of first-year contestants, including, Chase Budinger, Paul George, and Derrick Williams.

As most fans have witnessed on a night-to-night basis, Shumpert does not lack the confidence or swagger to succeed in a pressure packed dunk contest.

“I’m always ready for this,” Shumpert joked. “You know, I watched the dunk contest a lot coming up. I’m glad they selected me to do it, I’m happy to go out there and represent the Knicks in the dunk contest.”

The former Georgia Tech standout added, “Man, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be a lot of excitement, I’m up for this one.”

Shumpert is a rookie but also a student of the game and his knowledge of previous champions should help this remarkable athlete sparkle on the big stage.

“Jordan with the gold chain, being from Chicago that’s a highlight for me. Vince, and actually I was looking at some of the YouTube videos and saw Allan Houston do it,” Shumpert said.

A couple of changes will take place for this year’s annual showdown as fan voting will determine the winner. Per the NBA press release, fans will cast votes on Twitter by utilizing a letter assigned to each dunker along with the hashtag #SpriteSlam. This year’s event will only consist of one round with each competitor receiving three dunk opportunities.

Shumpert described his approach, “You just have to be really creative with what you do. You know, Blake Griffin bringing out a car, stuff like that. I have to get the fans behind me and have a lot of fun with it, that’s all it is.”

Of course, there might be an opportunity for a surprise guest for an assistant dunk, “Yeah, we’ll see, I might bring out somebody special out.”

Shumpert is also inviting his fans to collaborate on his dunk contest plan. Since the fans will eventually vote for the winner, the 6-5 guard / forward is asking for dunk suggestions via twitter (I_Am_Iman) leading up to the big night on February 25 at 8 PM on TNT.

Stay tuned to for comprehensive coverage of All-Star Weekend in Orlando.

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