|Howard back in dunk contest, which allows fans to vote in final round this year|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 21 January 2008 13:20|
The Orlando Magic center was one of four players chosen Monday to compete in the dunk contest at All-Star weekend, which debuts a new format in the final round.
Defending champion Gerald Green, Toronto's Jamario Moon and Rudy Gay of Memphis round out the field for the event, which will be held Feb. 16 during All-Star Saturday night in New Orleans.
After the final round of dunks, fans can vote by text message or on NBA.com to determine the winner. A panel of judges will decide which two dunkers advance to the finals.
Howard failed to reach the finals last year in Las Vegas despite perhaps the most impressive dunk in the competition. While catching a high bounce pass from teammate Jameer Nelson for a right-handed slam, Howard reached nearly to the top of the backboard to slap a sticker bearing his face onto the glass. Nelson measured it at 12 feet, 6 inches off the ground.
Green, traded from Boston to Minnesota in the Kevin Garnett deal, will try to become the first repeat winner since Jason Richardson in 2002-03. Gay, in his second year with the Grizzlies, thinks he has the dunks to stop him.
``I've got something they haven't seen before,'' Gay said. ``If they've seen it, I'm going to be upset.''
The slam dunk contest is sponsored by Sprite.