Ten of the 13 Slam Dunk Contest champions since Vince Carter have defended their title the following year. One exception was Nate Robinson, who bowed out after winning back-to-back Dunk Contests for for his second and third titles in the event. Another was Fred Jones, who was injured.
The third? Blake Griffin.
Griffin won the 2011 Dunk Contest, his only appearance in the event, with an incredible show:
Since, Griffin has seen his profile rise both as a player and in-game dunker. But he hasn’t returned to the Dunk Contest.
Blake on his future in the dunk contest
“I haven’t retired officially. It isn’t something I’ll never, ever do again. But for right now, I try to take my rest when I can. And this year I really wanted that Saturday night rest. So not this year.”
Griffin will be 25 next season. That’s older than anyone in this year’s field and would put him in the 85th percentile of all Dunk Contest entrants ever by age.
I would be shocked if he ever competes again. All the reasons he’s not participating this year will be true next year and the year after and the year after…