|No contests for LeBron (Getty Images)|
The ship has officially sailed. LeBron James will never dunk.
"No," LeBron told Fox Sports Florida. "It's over with. I'm getting too old."
LeBron's reasoning? It's not worth it. With the risk of injury and more important things to worry about in his career, a silly dunk contest isn't something he cares about.
"It's a taxing season," LeBron said. "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. 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."
There were times I wanted to do it. But he never did, or will. And with LeBron being maybe the most physically gifted athlete in NBA history, that's a pretty big disappointment.
The dunk contest has lacked in recent years, with part of the reason being the lack of household names participating. Last season, Kevin Durant called for stars like LeBron and Russell Westbrook to save the dunk contest.
"It's time for LeBron James, Mr. [Russell] Westbrook, Mr. [Derrick] Rose and Dwyane Wade to get in the Dunk Contest," Durant tweeted.
Last year in Orlando, LeBron said he'd consider participating if the winner won $1 million. The year before that, he strongly indicated he'd dunk in front of 100,000 people in Dallas. Except he didn't.
And now, it doesn't sound like there will be anymore hints or hopes that LeBron will spoil us with what he could do unguarded. Some of the greatest ever participated, like Michael Jordan, Julius Erving and Kobe Bryant. But the dunk contest is a young man's event, and like LeBron said, he probably missed his best chance. Back when he was 21 or 22, early in his career and not that concerned with his own health, he should've done it.
Can't blame LeBron, though. He has far more important things to worry about, and winning a meaningly popularity contest definitely isn't something to care much about. Still, it would've been great to see, at least just once.
So I guess we'll just have to settle for Miami Heat fast breaks.