The community of NBA fans will have to live with the fact that LeBron James isn’t going to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest yet again and probably never will. However, it doesn’t mean he can’t perform like one of the best in the business, putting on quite a show after a Miami Heat practice, which obviously went viral and has everyone convinced it’s actually better than anything we’ll see during the All-Star weekend.
The important thing to remember about the dunk contest that it isn’t about the quality and difficulty of dunks. Yes, originality counts, but star power always triumphs everything else. This season does have names like Paul George who is on the verge of becoming a superstar, while Damian Lillard and John Wall are also an improvement compared to previous seasons. However, Blake Griffin one in his one-and-done appearance because of the show around his dunk, and him being the biggest name on the list.
But the names we mentioned aren’t LeBron James, who isn’t just the biggest name among NBA players, but also one of the more famous athletes in the world; someone who’ll be recognized no matter what country he goes to.
James delivered quite the impressive display of dunks in Phoenix as the Heat practice towards their game with the Suns, which included windmills, dunks from the free throw line and various reverse dunks, while also bouncing the ball off the wall of the gym while it hit the rim before he completed the play.
He won’t be competing in this one, and there’s simply too much at stake with not enough to gain for NBA players as long as the competition remains in the current format. There has been talk of making it something with a financial prize, bringing in sponsors, and in that way possibly attracting big names. NBA players do make millions, but a $1 million reward, for the player or for his charity of choice, might be a better reward than we have at the moment.
For now, it’s for us to settle for players like James leaving his acrobatic space on the court, in games or in practice. Paul George and John Wall isn’t something to complain about – there are All-Star players we’re talking about, but once again the Dunk competition isn’t as good as it potentially can be.