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Paul George says dunk contest competition will determine his participation (so, he’s probably out)

Jan 20, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Paul George AP

Paul George reportedly said he he doesn’t want to participate in the dunk contest, but he’s at least leaving the door open, if just a crack.

George, via Scott Agness of Pacers.com (hat tip: Zach Harper of Eye on Basketball):

When asked whether he had declined the offers, George said, “No, I haven’t declined. I’m keeping my options open.”

“It would all depend on who’s in it,” he stated. “I want to be in it when the competition is good.”

In all likelihood, this is George’s way of declining while shifting the blame onto someone else.

The dunk contest doesn’t draw top top stars anymore, and I doubt the type of names George is seeking even consider participating.

It’s been five years since an All-Star starter – which George will certainly be – has participated in the dunk contest. Most recently, Dwight Howard did it in 2009.

It’s even been a while since a veteran All-Star participated in the dunk contest, even someone whose star power doesn’t warrant a starting spot.  Blake Griffin did it as a rookie in 2011, and Gerald Wallace came off the bench in the 2010 All-Star game after participating in the dunk contest the night before.

It’d be awesome if George participates in the dunk contest, because that would mean a stacked field. But that all-or-nothing scenario almost certainly means fans will miss out on dunks like this:

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