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The Early Lead
Posted at 03:50 PM ET, 02/23/2012

NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest loses Shumpert, Lin and couch

The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday could have been so great. Maybe not Blake-Griffin-over-a-Kia-with-Baron-Davis-feeding-him-through-the-sun-roof fun or Michael-Jordan-vs.-Dominique-Wilkins classic, but still great.

Instead, there’s no Griffin and now there’s no hope of a Jeremy Lin cameo, either. Lin’s New York Knicks teammate, Iman Shumpert, was going to compete and had promised the New York Post a “Linsane” trick involving Lin and a couch, the kind of couch that Lin slept on after signing with the New York Knicks and before Linsanity (and a guaranteed contract) kicked in. Shumpert was compelled to withdraw from the competition because of tendinitis in his knee. (Utah’s Jeremy Evans will replace him.)

“He was going to help me out,’’ Shumpert said of Lin. “Once my knee was so sore, I started thinking about it: ‘Am I going to be able to jump over the couch?’ All kinds of things to think about.’’

In other Lin news:

•There has been a connection with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Adrian Tam, Lin’s chaplain at Harvard, told People.com that “they've spoken over the telephone. Jeremy's been a fan of Tebow's for a while, but only recently were they able to connect.”

The two have rabid fandom and wild success stories in common, in addition to devout faith. “I've had the pleasure of getting to know him over the last few weeks and what a great guy he is,” Tebow said Monday at the Cartoon Network’s Hall of Game awards. “How he handles himself and how he carries himself, I think he's a great role model and I'm proud of it. I think he's handling himself great and I think he can take care of himself. And I just say keep being true to him and keep working hard and don't listen to everybody else.”

•Lin is no longer sleeping on the couch, either at his brother’s apartment or at Landry Fields’. He has rented in lower Manhattan, taking a a $13,000-a-month two-bedroom place — furnished.

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By  |  03:50 PM ET, 02/23/2012

 
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