Psst. There’s a white American guy in the Slam Dunk Contest.
Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger was among the four players announced Thursday as participants in the Slam Dunk Contest that will take place on All-Star Saturday night Feb. 25.
Budinger is the first white American player entered in the contest since Chris “Birdman” Andersen in 2004 and 2005. That didn’t go so well.
Other white American players to participate are Bob Sura (1997), Rex Chapman (1990, 1991), Tom Chambers (1987) and of course Brent Barry, who won the 1996 competition. That went much better.
Defending champion Blake Griffin and 2011 finalist JaVale McGee, whose creativity resuscitated what at times has been a blah event, are not entered this year.
Joining Budinger are fellow second-year player Paul George of the Indiana Pacers and rookies Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks and Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The competition is without an actual All-Star for the first time since 2006, when Nate Robinson defeated Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith and Hakim Warrick.