Earlier this afternoon, Jody Genessy tweeted out this link to a video on NBA.com of Jeremy Evans thanking Jazz fans for their support and that he was on his way to Orlando for the dunk contest:
Shortly after however, the video was taken down with only a couple of screenshots remaining. Was the video put up prematurely? While nothing has been made official yet, a twitter account has been set up under Jeremy Evans' name with its first tweet being a big announcement about All-star weekend. Alec Burks chimed in mentioning that Evans was on his way to Orlando. And CJ Miles followed that up by RTing Burks and tweeting out his own thoughts about Evans winning (presumably the dunk contest). To add to the mystery, Gordon Hayward's tweet about having Evans in Orlando was deleted.
So why was it taken down? Unless the NBA is expanding the field like they did for Jeremy Lin in the Rising Star Challenge, then one of the existing contestants is going to drop out due to injury. Brian T. Smith speculated that Iman Shumpert's recent knee injury could keep him out of the contest. If that's the case, then Evans could get his shot.
At this point, if Evans doesn't get in the contest for some reason, it would be downright cruel after being snubbed in the first place, then apparently being told he was in it, only to have the offer rescinded for one reason or another. Hopefully the video was pulled because Shumpert hadn't officially dropped out yet and not because Evans won't be going.
I was able to do some Internet sleuthing and find the lost video and post it to YouTube. As you can see, Evans has every intention of being at the All-star game.
[Update, 02/21/12 10:39 PM MST ]
As I was posting this, these tweets came across the wire:
Iman Shumpert won't compete in the dunk contest, source confirms.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 22, 2012
It sounds like Jeremy Evans will be competing in the dunk contest this weekend. Sources say he'll likely replace Iman Shumpert.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 22, 2012