Utah Jazz’s Jeremy Evans needed only four days to choreograph the winning performance in the Slam-Dunk competition during the National Basketball Association’s All-Star weekend.
Evans, who replaced an ailing Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks, dunked a ball with a camera strapped to his head to give a player’s eye view, dunked two balls at once and jumped over comedian Kevin Hart to sink a basket.
“It’s amazing to come out here and give the fans what they want,” Evans, who won 29 percent of the fans’ votes, said in a televised interview.
Evans competed against three other first-time participants, including Houston Rockets Chase Budinger, who jumped over rap artist Sean Combs, known as Diddy, and sunk a basket blindfolded.
Indiana Pacer Paul George vaulted over 6-foot-7 Dahntay Jones and 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert, as well as sporting a glow-in-the-dark uniform and sinking a ball on a 360-degree windmill in the dark and stamping the backboard with Larry Bird faces as he dunked the ball.
Minnesota Timberwolves Derrick Williams jumped a motorcycle, took a bounce off the side of the backboard before dunking the ball, and tried unsuccessfully to hit the basket after throwing the ball through his legs.
Shumpert withdrew from the competition because of knee tendinitis. Earlier in the week, he said he planned to jump a couch, a symbol of teammate Jeremy Lin’s humble beginnings sleeping on sofas at his brother’s and teammate’s houses before he became a top scorer for the Knicks three weeks ago.
Timberwolves’ Kevin Love won the 3-point competition, besting defending champion James Jones and Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat, Anthony Morrow of the New Jersey Nets, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic.
San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker won the Skills Challenge, which called for the participants to shoot, pass and dribble through an obstacle course.
The New York team of Knicks’ Landry Fields, Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty in the Women’s National Basketball Association, and Allan Houston, who played for the Knicks for nine years before joining the front-office staff, won the Shooting Stars competition.
The All-Star game between the East and West begins tonight at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.