Fans will decide 2012 Slam Dunk Contest winner

Fri, Feb 24

For the first time in Sprite Slam Dunk Contest history, fans have the power.

That's right. Spectators at home and in the arena will decide the winner -- all part of the most socially connected All-Star Weekend yet.

Here are the three ways to cast dunk contest votes:

1. Tweet the hashtag #SpriteSlam along with a letter corresponding to a specific dunker

2. Through SMS text message

3. At the website

Paul George
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty ImagesWhat dunks do you want Paul George to do? Tweet him!

Meanwhile, Pacers guard Paul George invited fans to submit dunk ideas to him via Twitter (@King24George). Along with Timberwolves rookie Derrick Williams (@RealDWill7), Rockets forward Chase Budinger (@CBudinger) and Jazz forward Jeremy Evans (@JeremyEvans40), George will be tweeting throughout the contest … similar to how NHL and NFL players tweeted during the All-Star skills competition and Pro Bowl, respectively.

But that's not the only way fans can connect. Here are some other possibilities:

• The NBA is partnering with the Facebook app Shaker to create an online hangout for fans.

• The NBA's GameTime mobile app will allow users to watch 90-plus hours of on- and off-court videos.

• The All-Star Pulse feature is back for this year's festivities. It allows you to easily follow trending topics on Facebook and Twitter before, during and after the events.

• The new "Social Spotlight" app is worth a try. It will showcase top tweets, photos and videos from fans directly on

• For behind-the-scenes NBA Twitter coverage this weekend, these accounts will keep you informed and entertained.

• The whole weekend will have hashtags galore. On Friday, the Rising Stars game is #BBVARisingStars, with individual squads offering #TeamShaq and #TeamChuck. For the Celebrity All-Star Game, it's #SprintCeleb.