It doesn't bother Blue Edwards that he only found out two days ago that he would be a participant in the NBA All-Star Weekend Slamdunk competition.
"Last year I spent a little time practicing for it, and worrying about it," said the second-year Utah Jazz forward who was a last-minute substitution for defending champion Dominique Wilkins, who dropped out with an achilles tendon injury."This year, I haven't had time to do anything and that might help," Edwards continued. "I just want to be loose and let it flow. Whatever feels good, then try it."
Edwards, whose standing vertical leap has been measured at 37 inches and running vertical leap at 42 inches, won a number of dunk contests while in college. He was scheduled to appear in the NBA All-Star dunk competition in 1990, midway through his rookie year, but had to drop out because of injury.
He has no revolutionary dunks planned for today's competition in the Charlotte Coliseum. "It's hard to invent something no one's done before," said Edwards. "I've just got to concentrate on my strengths.
"I think I've got decent hang time, and I like to do dunks off the run - stuff when you bounce it off the floor, off the backboard, like that."
He said his main objective is to stay loose.
"If you go in tight in an event like this you're not going to perform very well," he said. "That's why I'm not thinking of a special dunk. Last year I was, but not this year."
Edwards' competition in the 8-man field includes Kenny Smith of Houston, who finished runnerup to Wilkins in 1990; Dee Brown of the Celtics, Kendall Gill and Rex Chapman of the hometown Charlotte Hornets, Kenny Williams of Indiana, Shawn Kemp of Seattle and Otis Smith of Orlando. - Lee Benson