Fernandez slam dunk with online voters
NEW YORK -- Portland's Rudy Fernandez beat out two fellow rookies Monday in an online vote and will round out the field for the slam dunk contest at All-Star weekend.
Fernandez received 251,868 of the more than 500,00 votes cast on nba.com, finishing ahead of Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (147,279) and Milwaukee's Joe Alexander (114,963). The native of Spain, who won a silver medal in the Beijing Olympics, will become the first international player to appear in the contest.
Defending champion Dwight Howard of Orlando, 2006 winner Nate Robinson of New York and Memphis forward Rudy Gay already were chosen for the field. This is the first time a vote was used to select a competitor.
All four participants will begin appearing in online videos previewing dunks that they might try in the contest, which is sponsored by Sprite.
The dunk contest will take place during All-Star Saturday in Phoenix on Feb. 14.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press