“Slam Dunk Contest did not line up with LeBron James’ brand at the time”: A close aide of the Lakers superstar explains why LBJ never competed in the dunk contest

Amulya Shekhar
|Published 11/02/2021

NBA fans waited a long time for LeBron James to suit up in the Slam Dunk contest. An aide of the 4-time MVP explains why it never materialized.

James teased an entry into the Slam Dunk contest during his first Cleveland tenure through a number of years. He then caused a stir by telling Cheryl Miller at the 2010 All-Star weekend that he was could participate the following year (2011). But that didn’t happen either.

Chris Haynes reported in 2018 that LeBron was at his closest ever to participate in the 2006 dunk contest. But injury put paid to those hopes as well.

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Rob Mc shares why LeBron did not take part in the dunk contest

A former associate of the Lakers star revealed a different line of reasoning for why James didn’t grace the contest with his presence:

“It did not line up with his brand at the time. Hopefully, that you understand that there was different requirements of stars in different eras. After 2000, the dunk contest went down a little bit when some of the top stars stop participating. And it lost some of its flair, and at the end of the day that man makes his own decisions.”

“You can’t ever argue LeBron James’ competitive spirit at the end of the day; this man came back from a 3-1 deficit against one of the best teams in NBA history. So, let’s not forget that and if you are trying to draw a line between his competitive spirit in his decision in a dunk contest… That’s a big jump because there are so many other things that come into it.”

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Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar is a sports junkie who thrives on the thrills and frills of live sports action across basketball, football (the American variant works too), parkour, adventure sports. He believes sports connect us to our best selves, and he hopes to help people experience sports more holistically.

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