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Knicks' James White defends no-name dunk show

James White works around Boston Celtics' Micah Downs

James White works around Boston Celtics' Micah Downs during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game. (Oct. 20, 2012) Credit: AP

MINNEAPOLIS -- James White said he won't jump over a car, a couch or even Iman Shumpert's flat top in the slam dunk contest next Saturday.

"I'm not a prop guy," he said. "They told me they're trying to get away from that, which is good. I think that made it more gimmicky. I'm not a prop guy anyway. I just go out there and let the talent speak for itself."

He's nicknamed "Flight White," and some of White's dunks from contests in Europe and the D-League have gone viral.

This is his first NBA slam dunk contest, and he has a legitimate shot to win during All-Star Saturday in Houston if he can re-create some of his past slams.

The other participants are 2012 champ Jeremy Evans, Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green, Terrence Ross and Kenneth Faried. White has heard people say that because there are no big stars in this dunk contest, it won't be good, but he's out to prove otherwise.

"I think it's going to be one of the best contests ever," White said. "I think it's going to be real good because it's going to be a battle.

"You just have to have people who actually want to do it. They're excited to do it. I think that's what we have this year."

Novak's dream realized

Steve Novak won't use any props, either, but he hopes he has reason to bring out the discount double-check belt when he makes his first appearance in the three-point shootout.

"There's no rules on the belt," Novak said. "If it comes out, then it was meant to be."

Novak's competition is Stephen Curry, Matt Bonner, Ryan Anderson, Kyrie Irving and Paul George.

"It's a dream come true to be in the contest," Novak said. "Growing up, being the player I am, that was the contest I always watched. Those were the guys I always looked up to. That was the highlight of All-Star Weekend, just watching those guys. The coolest part is thinking that will be me now and remember what it was like to watch those guys."

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