Michael Jordan, Larry Nance, Dominique Wilkins and Julius “Dr. J” Irving were all names that dominated the NBA’s Slam Dunk contest during All-Star weekends of the past. When the names were released for the 2014 dunk contest, plenty of people were excited to see players like John Wall, Paul George and Terrance Ross. But there was one name that many were looking to participate this year for the first time and once again some were left disappointed. LeBron James will not be in the Slam Dunk contest much to the dismay of some fans. And some have reacted by calling him out for “ducking the contest” in their eyes. But to be honest, why does everyone keep clamoring for him to be in the Dunk Contest? LeBron can definitely jump out of the gym as witnessed by this dunk:
No doubt this was an amazing dunk. He was at the top of the white box on the backboard. And this is what gets everyone all riled up over his prospects for All-Star weekend. But the thing that everyone misses about his dunks is he has to build up to get there. LeBron is the quintessential power dunker. Notice how he always finishes with power every single time. There’s nothing wrong with power dunks, but in a dunk contest, you have to be a great leaper. LeBron can leap when his speed is built up, but he is not a pure leaper. There are many that can do that better than LeBron.
Check out this video of LeBron’s personal dunk contest this week in Phoenix:
He definitely wowed his teammates and the fans of the NBA with the creativity and the finishes. But one thing everyone is missing is, with the exception of the reverse dunk in the video, he finished all the dunks the same way he dunks in games. And LeBron has finished this way for most of his career. This tells me that LeBron is not that creative a dunker in terms of how he finishes at the rim. Power dunks are what he does, but the variety in his finishes are sorely lacking. And I don’t think that bodes well for a dunk contest at all.
LeBron is now a two-time NBA champion and four-time MVP. He has played for over 10 years in the NBA. What exactly does not being in a dunk contest mean for his career? Many like to throw out that he has not been in a dunk contest, but proving he can win a dunk contest does not win a championship or an MVP trophy. In fact, if he were to enter and win or lose, it would mean nothing at all in the grand scheme of things. It seems the main reason most fans come at him about this is they are looking for another reason to not like him. When was the last time a 29 year old NBA veteran competed in a dunk contest in the last decade or two? Exactly! You cannot name many if any at all. We all know Michael Jordan didn’t compete in one after he was this age. At this point, the conversation of LeBron in a dunk contest needs to be dropped. It’s only going to happen in one place and one place alone: a video game.