When the epitaph is written for the career of LeBron James, some will argue there will be one missing chapter. He will have never participated in the NBA All-Star dunk contest. After promising to do it and then backing out in 2010, and despite repeated pleas from fans and players, James has been fervent in his refusal to participate.
"I tried to convince LeBron," Wade said Friday before the Heat took on the Indiana Pacers.
"On the dunk contest?" James said when Wade asked him. "Oh no, that's out."
"I told him I'd throw him a lob and we'll win," Wade said. "He turned me down; I think he got nervous."
It's a real shame. James has such power, such creativity and such athletic ability, it would be phenomenal to see him on that stage. But the props and ridiculousness of the contest in recent years, combined with a strong player sentiment that everything that can be done has been done, just puts too high a bar for James to want to reach. Throw in the exhaustion of getting amped up for the event, then standing around through it and the possibility of embarassing himself in a loss, and it seems like a lose-lose.
I continue to maintain that a straight-up dunk contest without props, a return to the old style with new players, would translate well. And if James were to, say, emulate Jordan's epic free-throw line (well, kind of) dunk, it would create an iconic moment. Alas, it appears James will continue the usual track at All-Star Weekend, with media, brief appearances, a few laughs on Saturday night, a lot of parties and then the asbsurdity of the actual game, which is perhaps the worst exhibition in sports.