The irrational love fans have for watching the game’s best player do what he does best is perhaps beginning to get a little out of hand. And the media seems more than happy to be complicit in stoking that fire.
LeBron James is not going to enter the dunk contest. Ever. Simply put, he doesn’t have to, and he doesn’t want to. If participating in the event had interested him at all in his 10 NBA seasons, you know what would have happened? He would have done it, and likely would have won it.
We’ll never know for sure, of course, but the recent string of powerful dunks James has put on display in pregame warmups has people clamoring to see him take part in the midseason dunk contest as a legitimate participant.
The buzz has gotten to the point where people are ripping LeBron for his choice not to do it, and now we have media personalities essentially begging him to participate in the ultimately meaningless exhibition.
Magic Johnson on Friday said he wants to see James take part in the annual contest so badly that he offered to give $1 million to James — or anyone who can beat him.
“Please, LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars,” Johnson said on ESPN’s Kia NBA Countdown. “A million dollars from Magic to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.”
The NBA currently pays $100,000 to the winner and $50,000 to the runner-up.
Make it stop.
You know who else goes to the dunk contest every year? LeBron James, who sits courtside and has as much fun as anyone watching the league’s high flyers put on the exhibition.
With all of the demands on his time throughout the course of an NBA season, not to mention the physical demands of playing heavy minutes on a championship caliber team on a nightly basis, if that’s the one thing he enjoys as a fan of the game that he doesn’t have to worry about preparing for, both physically and mentally, then let him have his time to relax and enjoy it.
James doesn’t need the money, and clearly, he doesn’t need the aggravation.