Back in December, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings suffered a foot fracture that required surgery. So it was a bit of a surprise when, in early January, Jennings was named one of four participants in the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, along with Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee and Oklahoma City Thunder big man Serge Ibaka.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday night that Jennings will be a scratch due to his injury and that he will be replaced by Toronto Raptors forward DeMar DeRozan.
The N.B.A. will add DeMar DeRozan to the slam dunk competition, which will be held during All-Star weekend. He will assume the spot vacated by Brandon Jennings, who is returning from a fractured left foot. DeRozan’s selection is expected to be announced on Thursday.When news of the Dunk Contest participants broke a few weeks ago, DeRozan tweeted, "Dang! I'm not in the dunk contest this year?" Apparently, wishes really do come true sometimes.
DeRozan is your prototypical slam dunk contest participant, an explosive-leaping, high-flying, hard-finishing athletic wing. He finished second in the 2010 NBA dunk contest, losing to Nate Robinson, then of the New York Knicks and now of the Boston Celtics.
In the final round of last year's contest, DeRozan caught and finished an alleyoop one-handed while jumping over a teammate. He also took off from near the free throw line and threw down with two hands.
Here's a look at the tape, via YouTube user melo15jr5.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend will be held in Los Angeles, California, and both Jennings and DeRozan are local products, hailing from Compton.
For more on the other contest participants, click here for a full analysis.