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John Wall leaning toward declining dunk contest invite, but if other stars join he may change his mind

Feb 2, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

John Wall AP

The NBA solicits its star players to compete in All-Star weekend’s dunk contest on a regular basis, but most don’t want to be the biggest name associated with the event.

There’s no upside for someone like LeBron James to enter the dunk contest against a field of mostly lesser-known, non-star players. Win it, and that was what you were supposed to do; lose, and it becomes an unnecessary source of embarrassment.

That’s the situation that John Wall finds himself in as he mulls his invite to participate. There is also an injury concern, but that would seem to disappear rather quickly should other star players decide to enter the contest.

From J. Michael of CSN Washington:

When John Wall was named an All-Star for the first time last week, he told CSN Washington that he was considering invitations from the NBA to participate in the dunk contest and skills competition. He’ll make up his mind Monday, but it appears he’s learning towards the latter because of injury concerns.

Wall is dealing with soreness on the heel of his feet and is worried about the extra pounding, though if the competition involves superstars maybe — just maybe — he could change his mind. …

But make no mistake, the dunk contest is tempting. When Paul George of the Indiana Pacers threw down a 360-windmill dunk two weeks ago, in the locker room after the Wizards played, Wall got word of the feat. After seeing the video of it, Wall insisted that he could’ve done it better.

That’s a bold statement there, Mr. Wall, considering the Paul George dunk is a candidate for the best we’ve seen in a game all season.

Wall was dealing with back spasms earlier in the year, so that combined with the heel thing may in fact be a legitimate reason to not try to do too much. But since he may choose to participate based on who else decides to do the same, the injury concerns likely aren’t all that serious.

  1. ufools - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    An I missing something?? Is John Wall a “star” in the nba? He’s ok…….but a star???

    • antistratfordian - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      Yeah, you are missing something.

      • no14mike - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        You are definitely missing something. It’s not called the All-Okay Game.

  2. 2016olympics - Feb 2, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Clearly you are missing something because he’s much better than “ok”…

  3. eugenesaxe1 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:20 AM

    Ehh, he’s in the main event, that’s good enough.

  4. ufools - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    He’s a career 17 & 8 guy. I’m not missing anything…..

    • antistratfordian - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:51 AM

      So is Tim Hardaway and Deron Williams. Wall is an All-Star with this…

      Top U.S. Retail Basketball Shoe Sales:

      LeBron James (Nike): $300 million
      Kobe Bryant (Nike): $50 million
      Carmelo Anthony (Jordan): $40 million
      Kevin Durant (Nike): $35 million
      Derrick Rose (Adidas): $25 million

      John Wall (Reebok): $5 million
      Dwight Howard (Adidas): $5 million

      Source: SportsOneSource

      All-Stardom and shoe sales – the only proof of star status you’ll need in basketball.

    • sire2334 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      You’re quoting his current stats if his carreer were to end today….He’s 23 and on an incline. Avg. 20 and 9 This year. Out avg. Kyrie in every category except points and is only 1 point behind……This is “ok” to you? Please check the lost and found for your credibility…

  5. uscoach - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    If you have been watching his play this year you’d have to admit John is getting closer to being “one of those guys”. Maybe he’s not there yet, but he is moving in.

  6. knoxxlive - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Maybe cause you don’t have NBA League pass, you can’t watch all the games , your missing Alot! It’s how he gets his points you be infatuated by what you see in the paper or read online all you want, he can put up 30 whenever he wants

  7. bballhistorian - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    IMO only 2 things will save the dunk contest:

    1. Raise the prize money (currently at $100k – 1st place, $50k 2nd place. Not good enough money to attract the “stars” we all want to see).

    2. LeBron James HAS to join…just once. (Even if he loses…just the appeal of LeBron joining the contest will attract the best-of the best fellow dunkers/players to have a reason to join).

  8. bballhistorian - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    All-Stars joining the Dunk contest will immediately eliminate the “doing a dunk we’ve never see before” notion, that we’ve gotten used to. The reality is that all the best dunks you can possibly see are already on youtube…done by players who may never be in the NBA. Unless someone does a 360 over a Kia Car, no dunk will surprise some of us die-hard fans anymore.

    But the intrigue of a Paul George, LeBron James, John Wall, Brake Griffin and a 5th wildcard in Gerald Green going against each other in a dunk contest will be something a causal fan would love to see.

  9. bballhistorian - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    And one more thing…the thinking that a star player shouldn’t join because of “health concerns” is complete BS. Name one player in dunk contest history who’s actually gotten injured from participating…

  10. ihavenonickname - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    The best the dunk contest could actually do this year:
    john wall
    Ringo John Paul George
    Anthony Davis
    And then some talented clown like Xavier Henry

    And ya, I would love to see that.

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