When the 2012 NBA All-Star Rising Stars rosters were announced last week, there was an element of surprise. While Landry Fields was selected for the sophomore team, Iman Shumpert, who has been hands-down one of the top rookies this season, was not.
Then on Thursday, the NBA added two names to the rookie roster: Jeremy Lin and Miami's Norris Cole. But still not Shumpert, who's been averaging 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game -- not to mention, 2.12 steals, which is the fourth-best mark in the league.
If you ask Shumpert about the omission, don't expect a PR-laden, mild-mannered response. He'll tell you straight up how he feels.
"I'm very disappointed that I didn't make the rookie game," he told ESPNNewYork.com. "As if the chip on my shoulder wasn't already big, it just got bigger."
However, Shumpert will be at All-Star Weekend in another capacity: he's participating in the slam dunk contest. He already has one dunk title to his name. When he was a high school senior at the 2008 Jordan Brand Classic, he soared to higher heights than current NBA players Brandon Jennings (Bucks), Devin Ebanks (Lakers), B.J. Mullens (Bobcats).
"What stands out the most about that is living in the moment and using that adrenaline to go outside of what you usually do," said Shumpert, whose favorite NBA dunk memories are of Michael Jordan and Vince Carter in 2000. "[At All-Star], I'm going to bring a whole lot of style points."
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