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LeBron may end pre-game dunk routine after recent reaction

Feb 27, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT

The last couple days we brought you footage like the one above of LeBron James throwing down dunk contest quality dunks in the pregame (like the one above).

Which has led to the general outcry of, “Why won’t LeBron do the All-Star Dunk Contest?”

LeBron’s reaction might be to shut down the pregame show, he told ESPN’s Mike Wallace.

“Maybe I should stop because it’s making a lot of people mad about what I do,” James said after he scored a season-high 40 points and had a career-high 16 assists in Tuesday’s double-overtime win against Sacramento. “They’re like, ‘Well, if you can do it in warm-ups, why don’t you [want to] be in the dunk contest?’ Stop it.’ “

LeBron has said for a couple years now the dunk contest is out. He says he’s too old. The reality is that he has nothing to gain — win it and he was supposed to win it. Lose it because some young high-flier puts on a great show and he never hears the end of it from the talking heads.

But after Dunk Contests like this year — with 36 missed dunks, a lot of delays and an uninspiring overall show — people are calling for the stars to get involved again. And right now there is no bigger star than LeBron James. Who can clearly still dunk. So…

Not. Going. To. Happen.

And spare me the legacy argument (Jordan won the dunk contest, Kobe won it). LeBron’s legacy will be about rings at this point; the dunk contest really doesn’t matter. MVPs or other awards are nice, but at this point the legacy is about the rings.

Now people’s complaints may end a fun little pregame show he, Mario Chalmers (who did a 360 the other night) and others are putting on. Well done.

  1. buffalowned - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    honestly it’s ridiculous that he’s getting criticized for this. guys do it all the time. i went to a clippers game and blake and deandre were doing the same thing. why wouldn’t they? that’s like telling a guy to stop hitting home runs in batting practice since he won’t do the home run derby

    • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      Nobody is telling him to stop, they are upset that he will do them pre-game and refuses to do it for the one day that is supposed to be a fun day for the fans. And there hasn’t ever been a big time MLB HR hitter who refused the HR derby….ever.

      • buffalowned - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        can you blame him? he puts on a show for the fans that appreciate him and his team. if he does the dunk contest he’s gonna get torn apart whether he wins or loses so what’s the point? you think people would give him any credit for beating terrence ross? if the lineup was durant blake kobe westbrook and carmelo, i guarantee you he would do it

      • misterchainbluelightning - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        Torn apart? For making some kids smile and creating some oooohhhhs and ahhhhhhhhhs by taking part? You think just because there are stupid people in the world who will cry about anything should deter James? That’s sad my man. Do you think anyone really cares about “credit” for being Ross?
        There’s a bunch of young fans out there at really don’t care about the debates or the criticisms. They just want to see the best do his thing on the day that is supposed to be about them.

        That alone should make James want to give them a show, win or lose. To hell with the people who are always going to complain.. But James doesn’t see that, he doesn’t care enough to trump his fear of failure.

      • fanofevilempire - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        could it be that the nba makes a truck load of money from sponsors
        and they want these 100 million dollar players to do dangerous dunks
        for free
        maybe this why MJ and Dominque said adios.

        get real, LeBron is a business man, and his business is stacks.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 27, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        Are you a fan? Did you enjoy this video? Isn’t that enough?

        The only ones who have anything to gain by LeBron being in the Slam Dunk Contest are Sprite and Kia. Lebron’s pre-game dunks, that are available for free, for everyone, forever; will ALWAYS be awesome, and fun, and entertaining. And they don’t need George Gervin holding up a Gatorade-sponsored card that says 10 on it in order to be so.

      • cosanostra71 - Feb 27, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        I just don’t see how LeBron is going to get ripped for doing the dunk contest. As long as they don’t pull a Shannon Brown or Chris Andersen, has anyone ever gotten ripped for doing the dunk contest? It will only open up commercial opportunities for him.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      David Stern will demand players to the dunk contest or
      he won’t allow them to play in the game.

  2. tannethrill - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    LeBron can take a loss in a dunk contest. Really the inclusion of one star can somewhat vindicate the win by a no name type player.

    If the stars don’t want to compete then I’d take to the streets and find the best dunkers out there to take on the NBA guys that want to participate.

    Street vs. NBA 5 on 5 or something with their points combined.

    Maybe combine it with the three point contest and bring in some street guys that can knock down threes.

    • miamatt - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Actually not a bad idea.

      What I’d really like to see is an nba-jam style 2 on 2 tournament; naturally, Tim Kitzrow would call the the game courtside. BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      I was sharing this same idea with a few friends of mine. Why not have a dunk contest with the best dunkers from the street. set up a web page and have them send videos..the fans can vote on who they want to see.

      I doubt you would have any team on team action unless its players who arent already in the all star game, but these are things the nba should be thinking about. isnt this what the high execs get the big bucks for?

  3. cw3214 - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Just let him do his thing.The dunk contest was over back in 2006. Iggy getting robbed was it for me.

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      I am so glad someone shares these sentiments, Iggy hops got robbed that night smh

  4. 1509lucky - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    I am the first one to acknowledge that LeBron is far and away the most physically gifted player to play this game,BUT the thing that will always keep him below Jordan and for that matter Kobe,is the fact that he CARES too much about what people say about him. The Guy is a BEAST,but he is simply too nice a Guy for his own good. In the end ,that will what keeps him from stockpiling Championships.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      You knock him because he cares too much about what people say about him. Cav-sypathizers knock (destroy) him because didn’t care enough (or at all) what people think about him.

      You see what we mean when we say Haters Gona Hate? We’re not making this stuff up, people.

  5. misterchainbluelightning - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Lebron doesn’t care about anything but Lebron and the imagine he has created in his own head. He doesn’t care about Basketball fans, he doesn’t even care about LBJ fans, he assumes they will keep supporting and defending every seflsih cowardly move he makes, and they do, just like the Clueless Kobe Fans, and ignorant Jordan fans. James is more talented physically than anyone in the NBA before him. Sorry it’s a fact. But he is mentally weak, and that’s what keeps him from being the greatest player ever. He’s a complete b1tch, who is terrified of failure and lives in a fantasy world like Michael Jackson. Nobdy is crying about him doing pre-game dunks, they are crying that he will do them pre game, but refuses to do them on the one day that is supposed to be for the fans.

  6. protectthishouse54 - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    I disagree that he has nothing to gain by participating. If he loses, he’s still Lebron, still MVP, still a beast. If he wins though, and he puts on a show (which he can), its another moment people can point to. Yes, ultimately the rings are what matters, but Jordan’s got 6 and people still talk about his dunk contest performances (the battles with Nique, the free throw line jam, etc.). It’s a fun moment for the fans…you know the people who make his life possible.

  7. mrbiz8505 - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    We should all just go back to our pathetic lives and let LeBron be

  8. zerole00 - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I’m not a LeBron fan, but if I’m on a team contending for a championship I’d be far more concerned about that than some insignificant dunk contest. He shouldn’t have to feel obligated just because some people are complaining.

  9. jimbo75025 - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    And that is one of the reasons while Lebron will never reach Jordan in terms of GOAT arguments. Lebron will not win the dunk contest because he is afraid to lose.

    Somewhere along the way, things morphed from wanted to prove you are the best to wanting to be viewed as the best without proving it. Hell- roll out a 50(maybe 51 by then?) year old Jordan to dunk against the younger guys, anything would be more watchable than that debacle a few weeks ago.

  10. jessethegreat - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I think this has to do with Lebron not wanting people to expect him to be Jordan-esque at all times. Yes he’s the best in the world right now…. But he’s trying to be Lebron and doesn’t want people to expect him to fill MJ’s shoes.

    Not a Lebron sympathizer and hate how he fled to Miami… But let the man build his own legacy. Let him do his own thing and sit back and enjoy watching him continue to get better and better.

    Can you imagine being the best in the game and still having people complain that “but MJ did it do it like that”. ASININE!

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    “Now people’s complaints may end a fun little pregame show he, Mario Chalmers (who did a 360 the other night) and others are putting on. Well done.”

    Who Cares???? Awwww, so the spoiled Heat fans don’t get to watch the stupid pre-game show he and Mario Chalmers are putting on. Why does the other 99% of us give a rat’s ass about that?

    Do the dunk contest LeBron. Jordan and the other greats did it at least once. Why won’t you? R U Chicken?

  12. bushido49ers - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Mr. Helin, you missed some.

  13. fotydaze - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Lebron continues to tarnish his legacy. From joining another players team to get a ring, to celebrating before he won anything, to getting dunked on by a college kid and confiscating the footage, to choking in the finals and now refusing to give the fans what they want. He’s on his way to being an all time great but he will definitely be remembered for his cowardly actions.

    • jaydm84 - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Bet you wouldn’t say that to his face, coward.

    • craighsite - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      You’re an idiot!

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      are you in charge of the tarnishing legacy dept.?

  14. mrlitl - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    I agree totally jimbo. I don’t hate LeBron but he’s so afraid to fail. It’s almost sad.

    • craighsite - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      It’s basketball not a boxing match! He can do what he wants! Or not.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 27, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Boston last season. Just 8 months ago. Has anyone in any team sport ever had more to lose in a one game situation like Lebron James did?

      If anyone should have ever buckled under a “fear of failure”, that would be the moment. And what did he do? He freaking lost his mind, killing absolutely positively every M.F er in sight. Chills just thinking about it.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

        In Boston.

  15. stayhigh_247 - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    No one cares if he doesnt win the dunk contest. He just needs to compete. If he entered im sure other stars would too. Isnt that what its about? Entertaining the fans who bought your house, cars, buy your shoes. Dam it cant hurt his image either way

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      maybe he can stop by and do your laundry too, you did
      buy him all that nice stuff sugar daddy.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 28, 2013 at 6:41 AM

      Have you watched LeBron James play basketball. REAL basketball, at all? Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!!!!!

  16. fanofthegame79 - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    This dunk contest stuff needs to stop. There hasn’t been a big name in the dunk contest for years now (I disregard what Howard did since his winning dunk wasn’t even a dunk, and Blake Griffin was still too young to be a “super star”). The dunk contest itself is losing it’s flare anyway. There are a ton of other young players (Durant, Westbrook, Rose (when not injured)) that haven’t even really been named or called out to do it. It’s only LeBron that gets called out… Sad, really. But I hope he keeps doing these pre-game dunks – at least we get to see them online in blogs like this.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      sadly now he has been forced by greedy people to maybe end the pre-game dunk.
      I hate greedy people.

  17. watermelon1 - Feb 27, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    He’ll never hear the end of it by not participating too… So that’s a horrible argument.

    Just do it once. If you win, you win. Everyone shuts up.

    If you lose… You lose. And you’re still 5 rings and two three-peats short.

  18. dko83 - Feb 27, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    As a Lebron hater that is coming around to just being grateful I get to see him play because he’s… just so damn good, I hope he doesn’t stop doing this. Yes, I want him to do the dunk contest and hate on him for not doing it (it would breathe new life into a lagging, dull event), but who gives a $#!^ who it makes mad? He shouldn’t.

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