Utah Jazz: Jeremy Evans not invited to NBA's Slam Dunk Contest

Published: Thursday, Feb. 16 2012 8:47 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — It looks like Gordon Hayward will be the sole Utah Jazz player at All-Star Weekend.

Jeremy Evans is the latest Jazzman to get snubbed from the league's midseason festivities in Orlando. Despite a #LetJeremyDunk campaign and Evans' insane hops, the Jazz small forward was not invited to participate in the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest.

The dunking contestants will include Iman Shumpert (Knicks), Paul George (Pacers), Chase Budinger (Rockets) and Derrick Williams (Timberwolves), according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Hayward will play in the Rising Stars Challenge, which includes 18 top rookies and sophomores on teams that will be drafted tonight by Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal. That game will be played on Friday, Feb. 24, two days prior to the All-Star Game.

Jazz bigs Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson seemed to be solid All-Star reserve candidates, but both were snubbed by NBA head coaches.

There will be one Jeremy at the dunk contest, according to ESPN. The NBA's newest, um, Linsation will assist his New York teammate in some fashion during his slams.

As for Utah's sole participant, Hayward said he doesn't have any preferences as to which team he ends up on or what players he's aligned with in his game. He's appreciative of making the list and looks forward to the weekend, but he isn't sold on the change of format the NBA made to split up first-year and second-year players. Not that he's complaining.

"I wish it was still Rookies vs. Sophomores. I think that's kind of cool to be able to go against rookies — rookies go against sophomores," Hayward said. "It's cool to be involved, so it doesn't matter."

Email: jody@desnews.com, Twitter: DJJazzyJody, Blog: Jazzland.blogs.deseretnews.com

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