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John Wall on LeBron: “I don’t think he is a big dunk contest person”

Feb 15, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards Getty Images

John Wall is stepping up his game.

He admitted Friday when speaking to the media before the All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest that in games he holds back — his fear of missing and embarrassing himself makes him go the safe route rather than to show off.

Saturday night he’s in the dunk contest and he is stepping up his game — something LeBron James has never done. Wall called LeBron out on that and questioned his one famed dunk contest win back when LeBron was in high school, as reported by J. Michael at

“I don’t think he is a big dunk contest person. Some people are more in-game dunkers. You look at the McDonald’s game (in 2003), I think LeBron just won it off hype,” Wall said. “Shannon Brown could’ve won that one.

“You tell him, ‘Here, go take a basketball and you got to dunk in front of all these people.’ I’m more of a dunk contest person. In-game, I’m not trying all them because I’m not trying to miss and get taken out of the game or be on (ESPN’s) Not Top 10. In the dunk contest you can miss and say, ‘I’ve got 3 more tries.'”

Wall went on to say JaVale McGee should have beaten Blake Griffin in the 2011 Dunk Contest.

He’s right.

Back in 2011 you could feel the momentum behind Griffin at the game in his host city, but McGee had the better dunks. Griffin’s legendary dunk over a car was theatrical but not the greatest dunk ever.

Second, LeBron James himself told PBT he’s not a dunk contest person a couple years ago. He owned up to it.

Whether or not Wall is really a dunk contest person is something we find out Saturday night.

  1. eagles512 - Feb 15, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    The biggest joke was Nate Robinson over Iguodala when Iguodala had great dunks all night and Robinson was taking 15 attempts to finish a mediocre dunk.

    • spthegr8 - Feb 15, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      I couldn’t imagine what would give him that impression…….DUH!!!!!

  2. espfdps - Feb 15, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    Iguodala got robbed when Nate Robinson jumped over spud Webb who’s the size of a chair.

    • sumkat - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      Worst robbery in the history of the dunk contest

      I’ve STILL never seen anybody even attempt anything like that, let alone do it (the bounce of the back of the backboard). Not only was Robinson’s not that impressive because Spud Webb is smaller than most short women, but it is by far the most played out dunk in the history of dunk contests

  3. jbeagles23 - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    The worst part of this article is him saying if you miss you get three more tries. It should only be one attempt

    • miamatt - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Yup. Or, at a minimum deduct .5 from the max score for each miss. For example, if you make a “perfect” dunk on your 2nd attempt, 9.5 is the highest score a judge can give.

  4. phillysports1 - Feb 15, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    Yea iggy deff got robbed.

  5. southsidegroovin281 - Feb 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    It’s about time someone said this. And that day when he put on a “show” by throwing ball against the wall and catching it and still doing the same basic power dunk was boring.

  6. miamatt - Feb 15, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    John Wall might be right.

    But the dunks I see every time the Heat play bring me out of my seat more than any dunk contest trick ever could.

    • money2long - Feb 15, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      watch a vince carter in-his-prime do an in game dunk, i bet you’ll be brought out of your seat and through the roof.

      • sumkat - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:50 PM

        3 words, Human Highlight Reel

        Nobody had in game dunks like Wilkins

  7. turkbox420 - Feb 15, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Iggy did get robbed! Every dunk was awesome!

  8. antistratfordian - Feb 16, 2014 at 3:30 AM

    I really wish there was more fear of missing a dunk in the dunk contest – removing that fear was one of the things that ruined the event.

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