While the participants for the Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will not be officially announced until TNT's broadcast later this evening, a few names have already started to be released by various news outlets. According to Yahoo's Marc J. Spears, at least one Pacer will be taking part in the All-Star Saturday night festivities:
With his first appearance taking place in 2012, this will be the second time that PG has competed in the Sprite Slam Dunk competition. His agreement to participate in this year's contest comes as quite the surprise given the rather harsh words he had for the contest's supposed politics after his first go around:
"[Not to] take nothing away from the dunk contest, (but) it was a joke. I guess whoever had the biggest celebrity involved in their dunk was going to be the winner. I guess I should have tried to reach out to some people."
After jumping over Roy Hibbert, paying homage to Larry Legend, and slamming home a windmill dunk in a glow-in-the-dark uniform, many, along with Paul George, were surprised when the Pacers' budding talent was not named the contest's champion. Needless to say, now, with two year's of name recognition, star power, and high-flying highlights under his belt, PG should not have as much trouble getting votes on All-Star Saturday night.
Although various reports have yet to be confirmed, it is being said that George will be joined in the contest by reigning champion, Terrence Ross, as well as, fellow All-Stars John Wall and Damian Lillard. If these reports are confirmed on TNT later this evening, RealGM's Andrew Perna reports that this will be the first time since 2000 (Stackhouse; Carter) that at least two All-Stars have competed in the event.
With three big names entering the competition, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest will get just the injection of star power it desperately needed after basically languishing the past couple of years. It will be interesting to see what exactly PG has planned for this year's contest. Gimmicks? Celebrities (will Jimmy Kimmel be receiving a call)? Or, will he just go ahead and repeat this masterpiece?
What do you think Pacers' fans? What would you like to see PG bring to the contest? Are you satisfied with the slate of participants?