Jeremy Evans isn’t a well-known NBA player. In his three years in the league as a member of the Utah Jazz, Evans has played in barely half of the Jazz games (102 of 202) with only a 2.7 scoring average.
But Evans has something in common with the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard. He will always be known as an NBA slam dunk champion.
Last year in Orlando, Evans was the surprise winner, edging Chase Budinger in a vote of some 4 million fans. One of his winning dunks was a two-ball dunk over teammate Gordon Hayward.
The 6-foot-9, 194-pound stringbean from Western Kentucky will be back in the dunk contest again Saturday night, defending his title in Houston. The contest gets under way at 6:30 p.m. MST on TNT.
“I’m just excited to go down there to the All-Star Game and enjoy the activities,’’ Evans said earlier this week. “It won’t be easy — it’s obviously tough because everyone wants to win.’’
Last year, Evans got help from Hayward, who was involved in All-Star weekend for the Rising Stars rookie-sophomore game. Evans had Hayward sit in a chair just in front of the basket and throw up two balls, and Evans, after flying over Hayward, threw both balls through the hoop.
So what has Evans got up his sleeve for this year’s event?
He’s not saying, but he did acknowledge how difficult it is coming up with new material after nearly 30 years of dunk contests.
“It’s pretty hard coming up with new things after everything’s been done already,’’ he said. “I’ve tried to practice and I’ve got a couple of things in store. I’m not sure how new they are, just a couple of tricks.’’
Evans said he’s been able to “practice a little bit” on his dunk routine during some recent time off.
Jeremy Evans ready to defend his slam dunk title
The Deseret News | Feb 16