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 home and in-arena will decide the winner -- all part of the most socially connected All-Star Weekend yet.

Here are the three options to cast Dunk Contest votes:

1. Tweeting the hashtag #SpriteSlam along with a letter corresponding to their favorite 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, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers even invited fans to submit dunk ideas to him via Twitter (@King24George). He and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Derrick Williams (@RealDWill7), the Houston Rockets' Chase Budinger (@CBudinger) and Jeremy Evans (@JeremyEvans40) from the Utah Jazz, all will be live tweeting throughout the contest … similar to how NHL and NFL players live 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 with fellow hoops fans.

• Those planning to only be by your phone this weekend can use the NBA's GameTime mobile app to watch 90-plus hours of on and off-court video content.

• A return guest to the All-Star weekend party is the All-Star Pulse feature. This allows you to easily follow trending topics on Facebook and Twitter before, during & after the events.

• The new "Social Spotlight" is worth a try. This app 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 not only informed, but also 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.