LeBron James is one of the most electrifying dunkers in the league. Even at age 37, the man can still fly. When he was younger, fans clamored for James to participate in the All-Star Dunk contest, but The King refused. Now, another young star is making a name for himself with gravity-defying dunks but refuses to join the Dunk Contest for the same reason.
“I'm in an in-game dunker”
If you’ve seen Anthony Edwards trying to posterize people, you’d think he should be booked for a criminal offense. The sophomore was trying to murder the defender every time.
So you can’t blame the fans for wanting to see him compete in the All-Star Dunk Contest. But Ant declines and reveals his reason.
"Nah man. I'm in an in-game dunker. I don't have dunks in my bag for tricks. I'm not really a big trick guy. I just like to dunk on people."
As they say, never say never, and we could still see him join the festivities in the future. Who knows if he’ll change his mind. But when looking at his dunk highlights, one thing stood out: they were all ferocious with murder intent. Once he gets a step from his defender, you can’t do anything about it anymore.
James’ reason for skipping Dunk Contest
LeBron intended to join the Dunk Contest, but injuries got in the way. So, instead of risking aggravating it further, he decided to skip it. Cleveland.com published the intercept from James’ 2012 interview with Fox Sports Florida.
“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.”
LeBron won a Dunk Contest when he was in high school, so he definitely can win it had he participated in one. Meanwhile, Shannon Sharpe believes the Lakers star is a power dunker.
"When I look at LeBron, he's a power dunker. He's not a creative dunker. Although it would have been nice, I never went into the next season like, 'I can't wait to see LeBron enter the dunk contest.'"
For now, we can only end up dreaming what could have been had James participated. It would have cemented his legacy further. After all, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have won the Dunk Contest.
Joining the Dunk Contest takes a lot of guts, preparation, and creativity. It’s one of the most awaited events during the All-Stars. No one wants to make the other end of highlight reels: the bloopers. There are creative dunkers such as Aaron Gordon or Zach LaVine and the power dunkers like James and Anthony. A power dunk is just a power dunk without opponents. So, it might be better to leave the Dunk Contest to aerial magicians than power dunkers.