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Why you shouldn’t expect LeBron to do the Dunk Contest

Feb 3, 2012, 8:14 PM EDT

LeBron James AP

In what is an annual tradition rivaling Meryl Streep getting an Oscar nomination or the Grammys being a disappointment, LeBron James is flirting with the All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest. He says he’s on the fence this year.

He’s not going to do it.

You know it. I know it. LeBron may be toying with the idea but he knows it.

The reporter who knows LeBron best, Brian Windhorst now of ESPN, did a great story about why LeBron will never do it.

James has never done it for a very good reason: he has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose….

Sure, true that fans would like to see him try it out. All-Star Weekend is, after all, supposed to be about the fans’ favorite players putting on exhibitions. The dunk contest ratings would leap if James said he was going to do it.

But fans also would have expectations for James that he would not be able to fulfill. He’s been there before, he knows the fallout from that situation. He’ll have enough expectations to deal with in his normal day job that putting himself in a position where success is going to be hard to achieve.

He’s right. Blake Griffin isn’t going to defend his dunk title because what is he going to do to top jumping over a car? Unless Kendrick Perkins wants to revisit his role, nothing. Blake can’t win again even if he wins. LeBron is in the same spot.

Some people are going to hate on him for this, but then again he could solve global warming and some people would say he couldn’t have done it if it Dwyane Wade didn’t help him. With the dunk contest, LeBron is making the only smart move. Even if it’s not the fun one for the rest of us.

  1. goforthanddie - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Blake stole the win last year, but had the guts to show up. that’s a very important word in pro sports-GUTS. You can’t win without intestinal fortitude. THAT’S why leb will be absent again.

    • miamatt - Feb 3, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Oh really? Blake had the GUTS to show up? How about this? Griffin participated last year because he was for all intents and purposes a ROOKIE. Now that he’s an all-star starter on the contender he has better things to do, and you know what? So does Lebron.

    • bdawg3217 - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      exactly…Guts. Mental toughness. What makes someone great is that they put it all on the line and risk it all. No risk-no reward. I’m sure Lebron might win a couple titles in his life hiding behind D-Wade and Bosh, but I remember Kobe early on in his career in the Western Conf Finals vs. Utah. Kobe jacked up two 3 point air balls. I think that Kobe was a rookie at the time, but he might’ve been in his second year, but either way he didn’t quit after the first air ball, and had the guts to actually keep shooting. He came back the next year even better. C’mon Lebron, put up or shut up!!!

  2. tomshoe - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    And this is one of the many reasons Lebron isn’t better than MJ or Kobe.

    MJ knew that even if you didn’t have anything to gain, do it anyway. That’s how he won championship #6.

    • redbullenergydrink - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      It’s quite obvious Lebron is not better than MJ or Kobe but if idiots like you want to keep beating the dead horse, go ahead.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      When he was younger his agent wanted him to play a 1 on 1 game with Magic. If he won he proved everyone right, that he could score, but couldn’t win a title. If he lost then Magic could beat him and he still couldn’t win anything. MJ told them he wouldn’t do it because he knew when he din’t have anything to gain he shouldn’t be involved.

      To say he had nothing to gain from ring 6 is silly…by that logic he had nothing to gain from ring 2 either.

  3. pudgalvin - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    I don’t really see Lebron as someone that’s noncommittal. It’s not really his style to string people along making them believe he might do something only to back out at the last minute. I would think he would embrace the expectations and succeed beyond our wildest beliefs.

    • cinnalocks - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Are you nuts are just suffering from a poor memory….non committal is exactly what he was all year long in CLEVELAND……… AND he has public relation issues anything he can do to overcome those would be in his best interest. He wants props for dunking over a 6 foot player but when dunking is the focus and only focus….he flounders. JUST LIKE IN THE 4TH QUARTER..that is his legacy. A 36 minute man and not one ring.

      • makjak2 - Feb 4, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        you…. missed it.

  4. t16rich - Feb 3, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Don’t expect anyone who should be in the contest. NBA is full of vaginas for players

  5. raidmagic - Feb 3, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    It’s all fixed anyway he will win if he does it. Blake shouldn’t even have been in the finals last year after getting shown up by not one but two other guys but wha was the NBA supposed to do when Kia already had a car and a choir there waiting for the final round

  6. lameasish - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    The hate for LeBron is out of control. You dudes are lame, how can you be so hung up over another man? Kobe is past his prime, which means LeBron is the best player in the league. Enjoy watching him and stop crying like little girls. The bottom line is that you would take him on your team, and if you said you wouldn’t, then you have no business watching or commenting on basketball. Get over it ladies..

    • pudgalvin - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:59 PM

      That doesn’t mean he’s not the easiest target in all of sports.

    • redbullenergydrink - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:15 PM

      I COMPLETELY AGREE. It’s simply amazing how hated he is. It’s like he did something personal to these haters.

    • cinnalocks - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      How lame are you lame….Kobe is either leading the league in scoring or second at the moment. Not LeBron…….past his prime perhaps but still leaps and bounds above 98% of the N.B.A.

      LeBron is the best for all of 36 minutes then he peters out like an old man who has a girl friend that demands 48 minutes and he can never take her there. Get off his jock lame…you looking rather lady like all bent over and on your knees like that

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      2-8 record in the finals & a history of choking in big moments. You can have him!

  7. dasmol - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Dominique Wilkins got robbed

  8. lebrinahasnopassion - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Lebron is 6′ 8″ w/ a crazy vertical, yet he’s never had a creative dunk in the NBA!!! He couldn’t win a college dunk contest. He’s never even hit a 360 dunk in a real game.

    He is a waste of talent. If you put Jordan, Kobe or D Rose’s passion and drive in his body he would have multiple rings by now.

    P.S, There are 100 players in the NBA that can jump over the hood of a car and dunk. Blake was awarded for creativity in the moment.

  9. gv1221 - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    If Lebron was going to do it he should’ve done it the rookie year or 2nd year. NO POINT in doing it now.

  10. davidly - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    I wonder if I’m the only one who – with perhaps the exception of Spud – was never moved by the SDC. Of course, you know who I’d like to see in it. Too bad they didn’t have one back in his day.

  11. jgray30 - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    @Lameasish.. Your right I would take LBJ on my team.. But in very important games, im not even sure if id let him touch the ball in crunchtime. Yea kobes past his prime, but still more reliable than your boy. But id have to say LBJ is the BEST EVER in regular season games. Im sure we can figure out what happens after that..

  12. krose91 - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    Blake didnt jump over a car. He just jumped over the license tag. What a joke!

  13. diablito0402 - Feb 4, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    I remember a few years ago they asked kobe if he would participate in the dunk contest, he replied if vince carted was un it, the reporter said no, so then kobe said no if he is not in, then im not in,, thats a true competitor with guts….lebron, where you at?

  14. watermelon1 - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    There is absolutely no way Blake Griffin really WON the dunk contest last year. It wasn’t even a contest. It was staged. It was OBVIOUSLY one big commercial/advertisement for KIA. The main sponsor of the dunk “contest.”

    He didn’t even jump over the car. He jumped over the hood… which is actually smaller than jumping over a player, or numerous players in a line. It wasn’t impressive at all. But he used a KIA car, and so they gave him the “win.”

    There’s no way he could top that? I think that dunk was actually topped by more than one dunk in the same “contest” last year. I’m sure someone can top it again.

    And Lebron has nothing to gain? How about being the first to dunk from BEYOND the free throw line? That would even top the great MICHAEL JORDAN. It’s probably his best chance to top Michael Jordan in anything. And hey, you can travel in the dunk contest so Lebron doesn’t even have to worry about making up some “crab dribble” excuse. Go ahead Lebron… dunk from beyond the free throw line(without crossing it) and we’ll give you some props.

    • cinnalocks - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Also he picked the lowest point of the car to jump over……PUNK MOVE. Jump over the hood. Non N.B.A. Players have done it…so what the hell is he doing winning the N.B.A. Slam dunk contest with a sub par dunk……… the public is ill informed and gullible.

  15. cantonbound13 - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    LeBron is all talk & overrated.

  16. md23rewlz - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    It’s a dunk contest. The notion that he has something to lose is silly. IT’S A DUNK CONTEST. That thing on Saturday that nobody actually really cares about. It’s not like we’re back in the heyday of the thing. At most if he failed, people would crack a few jokes and in a week, none of us would remember. Who won the dunk contest two years ago? What was the dunk? Who knows? Who cares? If LeBron doesn’t want to participate, fair enough, but let’s not act like it’s because the Forces of the World would come down on him if he lost.

  17. chicagosundevil - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    He won’t do it…. because he does not have the ability to step up to any challenge whatsoever in his career.

  18. cosanostra71 - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    He should just do it. Kobe, MJ, Dominique- they all did it. Obviously it’s not going to have a ton of bearing on his ultimate legacy, but its more for the fans and we all want to see it.

  19. The Deep Dig - Feb 5, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Dunk contests are for rookies or veteran role players. The stars of the NBA participate upon first entering the league primarily from enthusiasm. After playing for dome years the enthusiasm wears off.

  20. ezwriter69 - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Far as I know, NO ONE thinks LeBron will enter the contest… we all KNOW that he doesn’t have the cojones to actually compete heads up… it might mess up his world wide marketing strategy… of course, it could make him bigger and more respected, but that would mean taking a risk and actually believing in yourself, and we ALL know that just isn’t in LeBron’s character. No guts no glory doesn’t hold for LeBron, as the self-annointed King he expects and demands the glory simply because he is LeBron, he doesn’t expect to actually have to do anything to earn it… for him, simply being the most talented player ever is enough, winning is irrelevant.

  21. bigdee123 - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Hot dogs don’t dunk for us mortals.

  22. southbeachtalent - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    These threads always remind me of the movie “Dinner For Schmucks”.

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