Written By: Matt Vereb

Tonight at roughly 9:30PM Eastern, the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest will kick off. This year, the dunk contest features four younger player who are all looking to make a name for themselves. Incumbent Dunk Contest Champion, Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks, will look to win his 3rd Dunk Contest. No player in NBA history has ever won three Dunk Contests.

Let’s break down the contestants:

Contestants:

1. DeMar DeRozan, SF, Toronto Raptors

DeMar earned his way into the Dunk Contest in a ‘Dunk-In’ against the Clippers, Eric Gordon. DeRozan and Gordon competed in a two dunk specialty round at halftime of the Rookies-Sophomores game last night. Fans decided which player would be in the dunk contest through ‘text messaging’; a concept that the NBA has used in past Dunk Contests. DeRozan earned 61% of the fans’ vote and will compete tonight. This is his 1st Career Dunk Contest.

2. Gerald Wallace, SF, Charlotte Bobcats

The emotional leader of the Bobcats. Wallace puts on a nightly show for fans who come to Bobcat games. Nicknamed “Crash”, Wallace just hopes not to get injured tonight during the Dunk Contest. This is Wallace’s 2nd career Dunk Contest

3. Shannon Brown, SF, Los Angeles Lakers

Brown is known for his Earth-shattering dunks. Brown is considered the heavy favorite by Las Vegas. Brown has performed some jaw-dropping, rim shaking dunks at times for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant has been shown going crazy on numerous occasions after Brown dunks. This is Brown’s 1st career Dunk Contest.

4. Nate Robinson, G, New York Knicks

“Kryp-to-Nate” is a two-time defending Dunk Contest Champion. He is best known for defeating Dwight Howard in last year’s competition. However, a 3rd title may be hard to come by for Robinson. Nate is currently battling a groin injury and there was speculation he may forgo the contest. But Nate will compete tonight.

Where is LeBron James?

Many have compared James to Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan competed for years in the Dunk Contest. Fans loved seeing epic Jordan/Erving Dunk Contest matchups. LeBron James has never competed in a contest. LeBron is arguably the league’s best dunker and the fans want him in. After the 2009 Dunk Contest, James told the media he wanted to preliminary put his name in for the 2010 Contest. There’s no LeBron. Maybe LeBron is waiting to sign a new deal before competing? We can only hope.

Prediction: Shannon Brown wins the contest easily. Nate is hurt. Gerald will probably play it safe. DeMar just isn’t a good dunker.

Who do you think wins?