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Magic Johnson offers LeBron James $1 million to participate in slam dunk contest

Mar 2, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

NBA All-Star Game 2013 Getty Images

The irrational love fans have for watching the game’s best player do what he does best is perhaps beginning to get a little out of hand. And the media seems more than happy to be complicit in stoking that fire.

LeBron James is not going to enter the dunk contest. Ever. Simply put, he doesn’t have to, and he doesn’t want to. If participating in the event had interested him at all in his 10 NBA seasons, you know what would have happened? He would have done it, and likely would have won it.

We’ll never know for sure, of course, but the recent string of powerful dunks James has put on display in pregame warmups has people clamoring to see him take part in the midseason dunk contest as a legitimate participant.

The buzz has gotten to the point where people are ripping LeBron for his choice not to do it, and now we have media personalities essentially begging him to participate in the ultimately meaningless exhibition.


Magic Johnson on Friday said he wants to see James take part in the annual contest so badly that he offered to give $1 million to James — or anyone who can beat him.

“Please, LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars,” Johnson said on ESPN’s Kia NBA Countdown. “A million dollars from Magic to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.”

The NBA currently pays $100,000 to the winner and $50,000 to the runner-up.

Make it stop.

You know who else goes to the dunk contest every year? LeBron James, who sits courtside and has as much fun as anyone watching the league’s high flyers put on the exhibition.

With all of the demands on his time throughout the course of an NBA season, not to mention the physical demands of playing heavy minutes on a championship caliber team on a nightly basis, if that’s the one thing he enjoys as a fan of the game that he doesn’t have to worry about preparing for, both physically and mentally, then let him have his time to relax and enjoy it.

James doesn’t need the money, and clearly, he doesn’t need the aggravation.

  1. bigwii - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    I don’t need to read the comments because Heat fans are Heat fans and LeBron has done things to deserve his share of criticism obviously he’s a great player but he’s very immature. The Decision l, the things he does, the way he acts, the things he says they all scream immature and he has backed down from challenges for one reason or another. His excuses are annoying, he criticizes fans who don’t now down to him, and he does shy away when the lights are brightest. He went to Miami to play with 2 perennial All-Stars because he needed them.

    He needed Wade to take the big shot he was afraid to take. Don’t get me wrong he can make the big shot and he probably could win by himself he has just has not proved it. For you to say that’s hating like the other Heat fans is just ignorant.

    Just wait to you see where he goes next because he’s going to jump to a place that he knows he can win on and honestly Wade’s health has been a problem and with the way he plays will only get worse. Bosh is good but is overpaid and they won’t be able to put a great team together with those salaries. Especially when Kyrie is balling, the Lakers will have money in 2014, and so will Boston. Celtics will also have Rondo, Bradley, and other young pieces like the Cavs so don’t be too overconfident he won’t leave South Beach look at facts don’t be blinded by bias.

  2. bigwii - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    You Heat fans are all the same so sensitive any criticism to them and its “hating,” and we all “need to get a life.” It’s sad honestly because I’ve never seen an arrogance at the level of these new heat fans who never went to the games before the Big 3 but now they’re die hard fans. Give me a break. I’ve never seen a level of arrogance quite like Heat fans. Who cheer other teams that are good, and have been for a long time that they suck just because all if sudden they got good.

    They say that everyone sucks because they’re the champs. Please you don’t see Lakers fans or Celtics fans doing that. They win like they’ve been there before the Heat have not stopped letting everyone know they are champions its very annoying. It’s like all of a sudden they’re the greatest thing to happen to basketball since the 3-point line.

    They have 2 banners get over yourselves. I to into my arena and see 17 you don’t see me doing any of that. Stay classy Heat fans I can’t wait to see how many of you are left after the Big 3 are gone and the Celtics, Lakers, and Thunder still go on being good. How many teams will you boo and say suck after that happens. Then again most of you won’t be Heat fans anymore so I guess it doesn’t matter.

    If you really just know Celtics fans and others teams don’t consider the Heat a rival and never have because they aren’t rivals before they’re more like tics. You can’t scratch them but they’ll eventually go away.

  3. kh1671 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    The thing that LBJ fails to realize is that it is not about winning and losing, props, or the amount of money they are compensated. It is about history. I’m sure growing up he saw Julius Erving, I’m sure he even tried to do MJ’s foul line dunk at one point. I bet he was glued to the TV when Kobe won his dunk contest or when VC wowed the NBA world with dunk after dunk. Those memories stuck with him, helped shape his love for basketball and inspired him to be a great player.

    Yet, LBJ deprives the fans of today of those memories. The young kid growing up dreaming to be in the NBA will never get the same memories that he was able to have watching his favorite players. That’s the real crime. That’s why I have lost respect for him. He is not bigger than the game or its history or more importantly, its fans.

  4. billsfan30192 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    @ bigwii and all other lebron haters. tell me again how lebron didnt win on his own in cleavland? pretty sure he won a leauge MVP on his OWN. who gives a damn about a dunk contest lol u sound ridiculous talkin about how he wnt accept a challange. and plz tell me how MJ or KOBE won a chapionship by “themselves”. get real, at the end of his career lebron will go down as the best to EVER play the game

  5. shzastl - Mar 3, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Fans and media have every right to want to see the best in the world perform on the unique stage of the dunk contest. Obviously he doesn’t have to do it, and people don’t have to watch. You act like his feelings are getting hurt, or dunking a few times in the contest would be a huge strain on him. Nonsense. It’s just another workout, less grueling than a 48 minute game, or even a practice. And he makes, $50 million a year, I think he can handle fans and media asking him to compete.

  6. dwmc23 - Mar 3, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    If the dunk contest is so physically and mentally demanding for him, then why is he putting on a show in warm ups before every game? He seems to be playing just fine afterwards. He just isn’t interested in the contest for his own reasons, which is fine. I’d be more interested in watching with him in it, though. As it is now, I couldn’t care less.

  7. jthammerstix - Mar 3, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Rather than offer him money (which he already has), he should threaten to give him aids.

  8. sportsnut101 - Mar 3, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    As long as money goes to charity have no problem with it. How bout
    LAst 10 champs n lebron joins

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