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NBA Slam Dunk Contestants Announced, Jeremy Lin to "Assist" Iman Shumpert

ESPN has learned the lineup for the Slam Dunk contest on All-Star weekend: New York’s Iman Shumpert, Houston’s Chase Budinger, Indiana’s Paul George and Minnesota’s Derrick Williams will compete for Blake Griffin’s undefended title. Shumpert will be “assisted” by teammate/superduperstar Jeremy Lin.

Lin gets to throw alley-oops to Shumpert only because the NBA has added him to the Haier Shooting Stars competition. That’s right – the NBA couldn’t figure out a way to get Jeremy Lin into the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge (or whatever they’re calling it this year). Instead he’ll be shooting mid-range jumpers and layups with Allan Houston (?) and someone from the New York Liberty. If that doesn’t make you tune in on All-Star Saturday, what will? How about a new format for the dunk contest!?

Sources said that the annual dunk contest has a new format which will consist of only one round and in which the winner will be solely determined by fan vote.

All four competitors in the 2012 dunk field are first-timers and will be formally announced later Thursday, sources said. Each entrant will get three dunks, with fan voting to open after the foursome completes their first dunks.

NBA.com! Twitter! The Linternet! Why does the NBA have to keep changing all its stupid events? It’s amazing that they haven’t found a way to fiddle with the three-point contest. Blind folds, maybe? Everyone shoots the third rack lefty? Bigger basketballs? Come on, let’s get creative guys.

Previously: ESPN Reports that Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin Both Went 9-for-20 in Their 5th Start and Scored the Game-Winner
Previously: Jeremy Lin Does it Again: Game-Winning 3-Pointer vs. Toronto with Less Than One Second Left
Previously: MLB Players Who Could Be This Season’s Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin

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