Dallas • Whatever jaw-dropping jams Jeremy Evans might have been dreaming up over the last year will have to wait.
The high-flying Jazz forward isn’t headed to New Orleans and All-Star weekend for a third straight Slam Dunk Contest, but Evans isn’t bitter about being excluded.
“Everybody loves to see new faces,” he said Friday. “I’ve been in it twice and fun. Of course I’m going to be watching this year when they show it on TV.”
The field of Paul George, John Wall, Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes, Ben McLemore and Terrence Ross is certainly more star-studded than last year’s field, when Evans dunked over a picture he painted of himself dunking.
Evans wouldn’t pick a favorite outright, but said, “I did get beat by Terrence Ross, so I’m going to keep my eyes on him.”
In the meantime, Evans will get some rest over the break.
Maybe he’ll have more time for painting.
Rookie Trey Burke will get to play with some familiar faces during the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend. Burke will be teamed up with an old college teammate in Tim Hardaway Jr. and an old high school teammate in Jared Sullinger.
Burke will also participate in the skills challenge, where he’ll be teamed up with former Weber Start point guard Damian Lillard.
Burke said he’s felt tired dealing with the NBA grind.
“Last year in college, I felt like I had so much more legs,” he said. “Right now, I feel like I don’t even have legs.”
But his coach isn’t worried about the extra work.
“For Trey, we may want to rest him,” Ty Corbin said. “But I think it will be a great lesson for him to get around the top guys in this league, to understand and see the accolades they get from being top guys, and the work they have to put in to be recognized.”
The Jazz will have one more All-Star weekend tie, as Hall of Famer forward Karl Malone will compete with Kevin Durant and the WNBA’s Skylar Diggins in the Shooting Stars competition.