Remember back in 2009, when LeBron James announced that he'd be taking part in the 2010 NBA slam dunk contest?
Remember the eventual participants of the 2010 NBA slam dunk contest?
"I have thought about it before and a few times in the past I kind of had an ankle injury that kind of kept me out of it and a couple of times I was just like, 'You know what, I'm going to go in here and rest my legs for this weekend and then get back to the regular season," James said. "But, I mean, they say a lot of the greats have done it and I've watched it over the years."
"I don't know, I'll be on the fence every year about it," James said. "It's always a fence year for me. I know they're getting tired of me, though, so I'm not even going to start up nothing."
Just about nothing but bad things could come out of this. It would be fantastic to see James toss in some of his one-handed windmills, but unless James has some 20-foot jumping ability that we're unaware of, all he's going to do is enter the contest as the favorite and disappoint those with unrealistic expectations. Because, nearly 30 years after the NBA instituted its first contest, all the dunks have just about been done.
LeBron, clearly, is an astonishing in-game dunker. But he's also the best player on a team with legitimate title aspirations (which Michael Jordan most certainly was not when he represented the Chicago Bulls in the 1985, '87 and '88 contests), and rest is vital in this or any other season. We've been critical of LeBron at times in these pages, but we're really not looking forward to a few days of cable TV criticism about how James failed to jump over three cars or set fire to the shot clock in mid-air while blindfolded.
Even for an exhibition pitched on basic cable in the middle of February, people take the contest pretty seriously, mainly because there's absolutely nothing to talk about during the sports weekend it dominates. And unless people develop a saner sense of expectation between now and Feb. 25 (not bloody likely), we'd suggest James give this one a miss.
Plus, it leaves us more time to watch this over and over again: