Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. declines NBA’s dunk-contest overtures

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Larry Nance won the NBA’s first dunk contest in 1984.

His son – Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. – could’ve had a chance to carry the family legacy.

But it won’t happen this year.

Baxter Holmes of ESPN:

The league recently reached out to Larry Nance Jr. about the possibility of his being a participant in this year’s contest, which will be held Feb. 13 during the NBA All-Star Weekend at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Although the league didn’t extend an official invite — it was more of a “feeling out” call to gauge interest, Nance told ESPN.com after practice Monday — the Lakers’ training staff ultimately advised Nance against taking part in this year’s contest because of the continuous soreness in his right knee that has sidelined him for the past four games.

“That’s something that I’ve always said I’ve wanted to do at some point,” Nance said of the dunk contest. “With the recent [injury] in my knee and everything, I don’t want to go against the training staff’s advice.

Just four Lakers have ever competed in the dunk contest:

  • Shannon Brown in 2010
  • Kobe Bryant in 1997
  • Antonio Harvey in 1995
  • Michael Cooper in 1984

Though Kobe won, that’s a relatively low dunk-contest output for a franchise that has prided itself on being Showtime. It’d be cool if Nance Jr. can compete in the future.

For now, you’ll just have to settle for in-game highlights like this and this:

A question, though: If Nance is banged up, why is he the one forced to sit on the floor for Kobe?