Teammates psyched for Evans’ slam dunk title defense

Jazzman Randy Foye really didn’t know Jeremy Evans before the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk contest.

Actually, that’s not 100 percent true. Foye knew Evans could throw down a pretty nasty dunk.

A member of the Los Angeles Clippers last season, Foye knew almost nothing about the seldom-used Jazz forward other than what he saw during a game in Salt Lake City.

“I didn’t know much about him at all,” Foye said after Friday morning’s shootaround at EnergySolutions Arena. “I remember he dunked on one of our players when we came here. Him and Earl (Watson), the famous play.”

Ah yes, the famous Watson-to-Evans alley-oop dunk, the one Jazz fans anticipate each time the two appear on the floor together. The play that helped get Evens noticed in the first place.

Evans was a late invitee to last year’s contest but made the most of it, winning the event with a dazzling display in which he leaped over teammate Gordon Hayward and dunked two balls at the same time.

Foye said he’s excited to see what Evans is will do when he defends his title at the 2013 All-Star festivities, held later this month in Houston.

The NBA announced Thursday that Evans, along with Gerald Green (Indiana), Terrance Ross (Toronto), James White (New York), Kenneth Faried (Denver) and Eric Bledsoe (L.A. Clippers), will compete in the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk contest Feb. 16 at the Toyota Center.

The event will air live on TNT, starting at 6 p.m. (MST)

“I’m just happy,” Foye said. “Some of the things he talked to us about that he wanted, I think, are pretty cool. There’s a lot of hype around other guys but he’s still the defending champ so I think he has a great chance to go out there and show what he can do.”

Evans said Friday he’s focused on Utah’s game with the Bulls, but did admit he’d been mulling over some dunk ideas.

“I’ve been working a little bit, but you’ve got to have legs,” he said. “I’ve been practicing on what’s going on. We’ve got games. Hopefully I’ll have a couple days (to work on dunks) after (Utah’s Feb. 13 game at Minnesota, the Jazz’s final game before the All-Star break).”

“It’s going to be a good show and I have a lot of competition,” Evans added. “I’ve got to bring it.”

Watson said he thinks Evans can definitely bring it.

“I’m happy for him, I think it’s amazing,” he said. “When he went last year nobody really gave him a chance. This year there’s pretty good competition, so hopefully he has some creative things up his sleeve.”

Watson took on the role of Evans’ dunk consultant last season but he said he’s been “fired” in favor of Jazz big man Derrick Favors.

“Derrick Favors is his new dunk agent,” Watson said.

Considering Watson has thrown Evans more of those famous alley-oop passes than anyone else, he should probably make the trip to Houston with him, right?

“That’s my argument,” Watson said. “But after (Evans) won the contest, Derrick kind of snuck through the back door and stole it from me. I told him Derrick has to throw him lobs in the game. He didn’t like that.”

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About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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