'Flight' White nears launch date

Fans could get a preview of the slam-dunk contest Wednesday night as James White and Terrence Ross take the court. Getty Images

On Saturday night, James White will take center stage in the NBA slam dunk contest, but before he does, Carmelo Anthony wants to see him work on some of his midair acrobatics.

"I'm ready to see James start practicing, though," Anthony said on Tuesday. "He thinks he can just go out there and just jump from halfcourt and dunk. I'm excited about it, though. I know what he can do. I know he can jump. I don't think the world has seen him yet. It's definitely a big stage for him."

So what would it mean for White, the oddsmakers' favorite, to take home the crown?

"It means more money in my pocket, of course," he said with a laugh. "As far as the dunk contest, I feel like I'm one of the best to ever do that. To win it would solidify that for me and a lot of my fans."

White will be competing against 2007 champion Gerald Green (Pacers), Eric Bledsoe (Clippers), Jeremy Evans (Jazz), Kenneth Faried (Nuggets) and Terrence Ross of the Raptors, who the Knicks face on Wednesday night at the Garden.

As for Steve Novak, who's participating in the 3-point shootout, Melo said the sharpshooter is more than ready.

"I've seen him here practicing; he had a couple perfect scores a couple times," he said. "I'll be there watching."

Novak's challengers include Ryan Anderson (Hornets), Matt Bonner (Spurs), Stephen Curry (Warriors), Paul George (Pacers) and Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers).

If either White or Novak wins, J.R. Smith knows how they should party.

"You don't want to hear my celebration," he said, laughing. "My celebration is different from everybody else's, so I'm just going to say, 'Just wear a Knicks jersey, tweet about it and have fun all weekend.'"

Click here to read more about White's dunking exploits.

Click here to read more about Novak's 3-point shooting evolution.

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