NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: Thanks to Jeremy Lin, Iman Shumpert Will Cruise

Ben RosenthalContributor IIFebruary 16, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10:  (L-R) Jeremy Lin #17 and Iman Shumpert #21 of the New York Knicks celebrate a play against the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2012 in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The four NBA players who will compete in the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest were announced todayIman Shumpert, Chase Budinger, Paul George and Derrick Williams—and thanks to megastar Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks, Iman Shumpert is going to win in a landslide.

The reason for this is simple, according to the same source, "Only fan voting will be utilized in the new format, via Twitter for the first time, in addition to online and text voting."

"Each entrant will get three dunks, with fan voting to open after the foursome completes their first dunks."

Lin has been the toast of the sport's world, and although he came on the scene too late to compete in the Rising Star's game between the rookies and sophomores, the shrewd NBA commissioner David Stern wasn't about to let his cash cow watch the All-Star game from Landry Fields' apartment. 

Lin will reportedly compete in the Haier Shooting Stars competition—a "thrilling" competition which pairs one current NBA player, one WNBA player and one retired star from each competing city—and thus, he will be allowed to "assist" Iman Shumpert in the Slam Dunk Contest. (Like when Steve Nash bounced the ball off his head to Amar'e Stoudemire.)

With that, as long as Shumpert shows up—with Lin by his side, of course—the other three guys may as well compete for second place.

Back when Yao Ming was the leading vote-getter for the NBA All-Star game by an incredible margin, can you guess who the number two guy was?


If you guessed his teammate with the Houston Rockets, Tracy McGrady, you would be correct!

McGrady was a great player before injuries ruined his career, but he was never the second-best player in the NBA.

Just last year, having not played a game the entire season, Yao Ming was voted in as the starting center for the Western Conference. (How he was even on the ballot is worth investigating.)

Had the contest played out without fan voting, this could have been a competitive event.

All four of the players are incredible athletes and despite having less popular names than the entrants in last year's competition, their dunks are sure to look better (I am sorry, seven-footers just don't look good dunking the basketball).

"Linsanity" will once again reign supreme, this time for the very person whose position he commandeered, Iman Shumpert.

If you are looking for an easy bet, put your money on Shumpert thanks to millions, perhaps a billion, "judges."