Utah Jazz hope campaign for Jeremy Evans is a slam-dunk
DALLAS — If the Utah Jazz get their way, Jeremy Evans will jump into the national spotlight next month.
The team submitted a nomination and video into the NBA office to get the lengthy leaper into the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest, which will be held in Orlando during All-Star Weekend in late February.
"It'd be crazy," Evans said, smiling about the thought of participating in the annual high-flying event.
The Jazz are following their fans' lead and mounting a "Let Jeremy Dunk" campaign.
Even with his limited playing time this season, Evans has given plenty of material for a dunk-highlight video.
To boost his bid, the Jazz had him do a couple of extra jams for a video that they hope will help garner extra attention and turn him into a, well, slam-dunk choice for the NBA and Turner Sports selection committee.
For the video, Evans leaped over 6-foot-1 alley-oop partner Earl Watson for a dunk. He also slapped a #LetJeremyDunk sticker on the backboard during a slam.
The highlight piece will be shown on a Jazz TV broadcast and then sent out online.
"We've got a viral campaign. It's going to hit the Internet," said Watson, who joked that he's Evans' "dunk agent."
Evans admitted he's never actually sat down and watched previous dunk contests.
And, he added, "I never thought I'd get in it."
The 24-year-old listed Michael Jordan's famous free-throw line slam as one of his all-time favorites. The second-year forward also admired a spinning Blake Griffin dunk.
Watson marvels over the fact Evans had 10 dunks coming into Friday's game despite only having played for 59 minutes.
"His dunk percentage is unreal," Watson said. "He might have the most dunks per minute."
Jazz fans on Twitter gave some input on what Utah could include in Evans' dunk video.
Wrote @5kl: "Just submit the Wallace dunk." In response to that, @Clintonite33 called Evans' soaring preseason slam over Portland's Gerald Wallace "The Mad Smash Over Crash." (The Jazz can edit out the part where the play was nullified by a charging call.)
TOUGHING IT OUT: Al Jefferson (ankle) and Raja Bell (back, knee) both played Friday after being listed as game-time decisions.
Their coach called it a fine line whether or not to play when hurting, but Tyrone Corbin appreciates that his players want to contribute on the court.
"Guys are banged up. The fortunate thing (is) that we have guys wanting to play," Corbin said prior to tipoff. "They want to play through the pain. We just have to be smart about it."
He initially denied being hurt Wednesday, but Jefferson was bugged that the soreness and inflammation and soreness returned to his ankle after it forced him to miss a game earlier this season.
An MRI taken Thursday revealed that the ankle was nothing more severe than tendinitis.
"I guess it's just all the pounding and games and practice, I don't know," Big Al said. "It's irritating. I can't stand it. I wish it would just go away."
CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: While talking highly about Paul Millsap, Corbin admitted that the lead-by-example power forward would make a good team captain.
The Jazz don't have an official captain or an entire team full of them depending on your point of view.
"I think he's a tremendous candidate for it," Corbin said of Millsap. "He is one of the 13 captains that we have. He may be Captain Captain."
RUMOR MILL: The Jazz are reportedly one of multiple teams interested in trading for New Orleans center Chris Kaman, according to Yahoo! Sports. Houston, Indiana and San Antonio are the other teams listed by NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski.
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