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LeBron says he will never do All-Star Dunk Contest

Dec 24, 2012, 9:41 AM EDT

LeBron James AP

LeBron James is a powerful in-game dunker.

Sometimes those kinds of dunkers don’t translate well to the showy exhibition that is the NBA’s Dunk Contest All-Star weekend. Think Shannon Brown. Heck, Jazz forward Jeremy Evans told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida he could beat LeBron in the contest because we’ve never seen LeBron in that kind of competition.

And we never will, LeBron told Tomasson.

“No,” said James, who turns 28 on Dec. 30. “It’s over with. I’m getting too old for that. … There were times when I wanted to do it. But I came into All-Star Weekend a few times banged up and I didn’t want to risk further injury.”

LeBron was even good with Evans’ boast.

“I’m not a dunk-contest guy, so he probably could beat me in a dunk contest,” James said. “I’m OK with that.”

I’m not sure we ever thought we would see LeBron do the contest, but it seems a bit of a waste. A loss for us. Michael Jordan did it (those against Dominique Wilkins were classics), Kobe Bryant did it, Dr. J did it, Amare Stoudemire did it, Vince Carter did it, Dwight Howard did it and revived it, Blake Griffin did it, a lot of the games great star dunkers gave it a shot.

But we’ll never see LeBron do it. And he’s good with that

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 24, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t do Dancing with the Stars.
    LeBron James doesn’t do Slam Dunk Contests.

    • HitsDingers - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      And MJ is South Park’s Bono.
      He just did it to win another trophy.

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      Anyways, even if LeBron won, the people here who are criticizing him for not doing the contest would just say he only won because Stern rigged it…or they’ll argue he only won because the dunk contest is a popularity contest, and they’d have a point about the popularity thing – Blake Griffin probably shouldn’t have won the dunk contest the year he won it.

      So given all that, why bother?

    • cantonbound13 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Kobe did it & won, so did Michael. Just saying

      • florida727 - Dec 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        I agree with #cantonbound on this one. I understand that LeBron has nothing to gain. If he wins, he was supposed to. If he loses, it’s kind of embarrassing considering his reputation. Guess what? Kobe and Michael were in the same position. They competed anyway. So should LeBron. The “I’m too old” excuse is pretty lame. You’re not even twenty-freaking-eight yet. You too old to shoot 30 times a game? You too old to win another championship? Yeah. Didn’t think so. Quit making lame excuses and give the fans what they want.

    • captainwisdom8888 - Dec 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM


  2. abchome - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Of course, why would he compete with pawns?

    • skids003 - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      It would be like the league scoring leader. “He could do it if he wanted to.”

      • cantonbound13 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        Sure & he could win 9 rings also if he wanted to, Right…

  3. coasttocoast12 - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Even though I’m a fan of LeBron I don’t think he’s a dunk contest type player. His dunks are more like power dunks not fancy ones.

  4. charlescub80 - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    He said it himself that he would lose. If he were in the contest it would put to much pressure to win. He can’t sub in wade and bosh to help him win this one.

    • lawful1 - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM


      Man go watch golf or something, this obviously is more than you can handle.

      • eventhorizon04 - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        If he wants to desperately cling to the notion than LeBron folds under pressure (ask the Pacers and Celtics how LeBron did after the Heat fell behind them and faced elimination in the playoffs last year), that’s fine.

        He’s basically arguing that the Slam Dunk contest is higher pressure than the NBA playoffs, which is adorable.

      • charlescub80 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        No, that’s what Lebron will be doing. Because he obviously can’t handle it!

      • charlescub80 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        Just to be clear my previous comment was for lawful. I didn’t mean he couldn’t handle the pressure. I meant he doesn’t want to look bad if he doesn’t win.

    • cantonbound13 - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM


  5. cantonbound13 - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM


  6. progress2011 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    LBJ has consistently exhibited the “TEAM FIRST” approach.

    In “ONE SEASON” =

    1. League MVP (3 total – on his way to winning another this year)
    2. Finals MVP
    3. Most significant contributor-Olympics
    4. Olympic Gold Medalist
    5. Shooting 53% and near the top of the scoring leaders (passes up MANY open shots and could easily be the top scorer and still be over 50%)
    6. Flirts with a Triple Double Everynight
    7. Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year”

    Too many others to list….

    He can allow the prima donna’s and the newbies, to fight over the individual player awards.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Pearl Jam doesn’t play weddings.
    DiCaprio doesn’t do QVC infomerecials.
    Claire Danes doesn’t do pornos.

    And if you call them names for it, it won’t matter to them one bit.

    The Slam Dunk Contest is a joke. It’s an extended Kia commercial. It’s boring. And if you stay home on a Saturday Night to watch it, I’m sorry for you. The highlights (lol) will be on sportscenter about 100 times on Sunday morning.

  8. WatchThis - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    He dunks on everyone in games, so…

  9. money2long - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    he said he will never do it? guess that means he’ll be doing the opposite. i remember he said he WOULD enter years ago, then flip flopped. so this time since he announces he WON’T do it, maybe that means he will participate.

    sucks that one of the most athletic people of all time hasn’t done the contest up until this point. truthfully, i don’t believe the whole ‘i was coming into the weekend injured’. because someone like lebron, who can work toward getting accolades, would want a dunk contest championship. i think if you really probed him, the real reason would be that he felt he would NOT win. and i am not speaking from hate, i have never said one hateful thing about the dude.

    even if he came in a bit banged up, if he knew he would trump the competition, there would be no way he would not have entered. there’s more risk in hurting yourself in a game, than in a dunk contest where you’re the only person in your way. the contest takes minutes. the injury thing is an excuse. he just didn’t want to lose to guys who are not on his level.

    it would be an embarrassment to him, to his ego..and he doesn’t want to walk around the nba as ‘the king’ and have guys like nate robinson or jeremy evans boasts that they beat you in something.

  10. fanofevilempire - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    I think it is better to dunk during a game, has more excitement.

    I never realized the fascination of dunking over a car.

    • money2long - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      can you even jump over a car, just you, no balls no nothing..just yourself? if there was a car parked in front of you, and you tried to jump over it, would you trip over the front if you tried? would you land on the hood and dent it? or could you clear it?

      • scalfor3 - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        no, but i’m 5’11” on a good day and white

  11. legeisyaj - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Who cares. I’m glad he won’t do it. The contest is just ok nowadays and his involvement would make it even less ok.

    I bet if the contest was the biggest thing ever (like it was back in the day), he would do it. Because he’s all about the fame and marketing and “king” stuff. Since it isn’t, he will say he’s too old now or doesn’t want to risk injury.


  12. justwannawinna - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    There is no comparison the type of dunks Lebron does in games are much better than what usually happens at the contest. And Kobe isnt as gifted as Lebron is as a dunker so dont compare the two there. And i think Lebron just wants to stay focused on getting another ring which is what matters most.

  13. romoscollarbone - Dec 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    If they paid a million to the winner LeBron would be there. That’s all that motivates these cats nowadays. The gritty, love of the game type player is going to fade with Kobe. Yes Kobe gets paid well, but if he was a mailman he’d be the best most intense one there ever was.

  14. carolinakid - Dec 24, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Like the dunk contest has any merit anymore after Griffin dunks over the sponsors planted car and wins (laugh) when clearly it wasn’t even the 3rd or 4th best dunk of that competition.

  15. jweave26 - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    I do not think he would be any good in a dunk contest anyway, I think he lacks creativity … Solid in game dunker based off of reactionary skills not creatively

  16. theawesomersfranchise - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Last I checked the weekend was for the fans. The fans don’t care who wins, they just wanna see him give it a go. Lebron couldn’t care less what the fans want. And it’s that simple.

  17. southpaw77 - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    What else is new from this phony.
    He said he’d lead Cleveland to a title but hitched on with Wade’s team then said he’d do the dunk contest in Dallas and changed his mind on that. Since he is a Cowboys fans he woulda hammed it up for that contest with a Cowboys jersey on and did one dunk, then do another dunk in the king cape.

    Dominque wasn’t too creative himself but dunked hard so that excuse is out for LeBron. Hard dunkers can do well in dunk contests also.

  18. berbes - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    LOVE the laboob gobblers defending their……..god? better snort more riddlin, kids.

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