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NBA: Fans to judge top dunkers; Jazz's Evans not invited

Published February 16, 2012 10:09 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New York • The NBA is leaving it up to the fans to determine the winner of the All-Star slam dunk contest.

Defending champion Blake Griffin passed on returning, leaving a lackluster field of New York's Iman Shumpert, Paul George of Indiana, rookie Derrick Williams of Minnesota and Houston's Chase Budinger.

Jeremy Evans, the Utah Jazz's most likely candidate, was not invited to the contest.

The league announced Thursday that there no longer will be judges in the event, which also will be reduced to one round. Each contestant will execute three dunks. Fans will determine the champion by voting on NBA.com, Twitter or through text messaging.

The format in recent years was two rounds, with a panel of judges voting on the first round before fan voting in the second.