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2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Can Chase Budinger Bring Home The Title?

The Houston Rockets have had their fair share of representation in the annual mid-season tradition that is known as the NBA Slam-Dunk contest. From Ralph Sampson in the 1980's, to Kenny Smith in the 1990's, to Steve Francis in the 2000's, the Rockets have been on the Saturday night stage a few times. Now in the 2010's, its time for Chase Budinger to ascend to the Rockets' dunk throne.

However, not one of the players have actually won the event. Steve Francis put together an awesome array of dunks in 2000, but ultimately Vince Carter would achieve his greatest accomplishment in his career by putting together arguably the best dunk performance of all-time, winning the 2000 dunk title.

Budinger has a legitimate chance, (there was a promotional video of Budinger dunking over a life-size replica of Yao Ming cardboard cutout lurking on the internet somewhere) as with the rules changes and shift in voting (all fan votes) that Budinger's ability to be part showman and part showstopper.

Pacers guard Paul George has had the most dunks in season, Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams might be the biggest name, and Jazz forward Jeremy Evans might be the biggest darkhorse, but Budinger could call fellow Arizona alum Andre Iguodala for some tips and advice in the dunk contest as well.

As long as it doesn't result in second place to a 5'7" guard.

For more on the Rockets, head to The Dream Shake, and for more on the NBA's All-Star weekend, head to SB Nation's stream. For more on the NBA, check out the SB Nation NBA hub page.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.