Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James has closed the door on all speculation, saying that he will never participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
LeBron James has closed the door. He'll never participate in an NBA dunk contest.
"No,'' said James, 28. "It's over with. I'm getting too old... It's a taxing season. A lot of stars play a lot of the bulk of the minutes. So they got to protect their body and understand that they got to do what's best for them."
From lame gimmicks to dull repetition, the dunk contest has been slowly dying. Jeremy Evans and Chase Budinger generated little excitement last year, but even with big names such as Blake Griffin in 2011, who should have had dunk fans exploding with anticipation, the contest was turned into car commercial and, in effect, ruined. James' confirmed future absence may only speed along that dying process.
James will not listen to Durant's request, but he did admit that at one point in time, he was interested in the contest. However, the threat of injury or further injury always held him back.
"There were times when I wanted to do it. But I came into All-Star Weekend a few times banged up, and I didn't want to risk further injury."
With this news, NBA historians are now certain to point to one thing: Michael Jordan won a dunk contest. LeBron James never did.