Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 2/20/12

Last year Blake Griffin brought some spice back in to the Slam Dunk contest by jumping over a car while catching a pass from Baron Davis, who tossed it up threw the sun roof. Pretty cool stuff.

Last year also gave us JaVale McGee dunking three balls on one rim and two balls on two different rims. My personal favorite was Serge Ibaka doing a windmill dunk while grabbing a teddy bear off the rim.

Last year seemed like a great dunk contest. This year is either going to be really awesome or it is going to be really bad, and it is not because of this year's contestants.

Indiana Pacers guard Paul George, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams, New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert and Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger will compete in this year's dunk contest. The NBA has a slight problem here in that there is a certain lack of star power in this year's contest. Only George is a regular starter, so to counteract that the league tore down the old format and came up with a new one.

Gone are the judges and in their place the interwebs will decide this year's winner. To quicken the pace, there will also only be one round, with each player getting three dunks in that round. Voting will open after George, Williams, Shumpert and Budinger all dunk once. That is when fans can vote on NBA.com, tweet in their vote or text in their vote. They can also vote as many times as they like.

I applaud the NBA for trying something new and involving social media but this is like a kid never drinking in high school and getting hammered his first weekend in college.

The Basketball Jones' Trey Kirby made a great point in this past Friday's Overdose podcast when he asked why their can't be four judges and let the fans be the fifth judge. I also thought having guys like Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Spud Webb be judges was a great way to keep some of the dunk contest legends involved in the contest without using them as props.

If the NBA had kept the judges, I would say Paul George or Derrick Williams would be the favorites. However, having a New York Knick in a contest where fans vote changes everything. And what happens now that Jeremy Lin is all but guranteed to throw alley-oops to Shump Shump? Paul George is trying to recruit Larry Bird to throw lobs to him, so that might help the vote in his favor. And Ricky Rubio throwing alley-oops to Derrick Williams helps too. Your move Chase Budinger.

Check out all four of Saturday's competitors in action:

Chase Budinger

Paul George

[follow]

Iman Shumpert

Derrick Williams

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

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