LeBron James giveth, and then he taketh away.
Maybe I should stop because it's making a lot of people mad about what I do. They're like, "Well, if you can do it in warmups, why don't you [want to] be in the dunk contest? Stop it."
This comes on the heels of a warmup dunk gone viral, spurring further inquiry into why James won't compete in the dunk contest.
I'd imagine most would interpret the mass pleas to participate in the dunk competition as a sign of support. James sees it as criticism.
Admittedly, James does incur the wrath of disgruntled fans, some of whom may believe his prolific warmup routine is a proverbial slap in the face. But James can't say such adamance is unfounded.
I'd stop short of calling his pregame displays an act of arrogance, but I do understand the frustration behind said showcases.
If he can do it in warmups, why can't he do it during All-Star weekend? Why must he continue to avoid the dunk competition only to toil with our emotions further by admitting he was "very close" to giving in this time?
And why is he about to take away what has a become a guilty pleasure and pregame tradition?
Discontinuing his routine proves nothing. More importantly, it solves nothing.
Impugnment isn't going to cease and desist just because his warmup dunks have. They actually stand to gain traction.
That LeBron believes depriving his faithful fanatics of something else is going to rectify what many consider a decade-long wrong is comical. It's only going to get worse; he's only opening himself up to more scrutiny.
And when he begins to suffer from the ramifications of his latest self-imposed castigation, what's next? Refusing to dunk in games?
Warmup superhero or not, LeBron is still going to be known as The Chosen One who chose never to participate in the dunk contest.
If he really wants to escape the shackles of public asperity, he's going to have to take his talents to All-Star Saturday night before it's too late.