Who needs LeBron James when you have Victor Oladipo?
The Orlando Magic rookie told the Orlando Sentinel's Brian K. Schmitz that he would be willing to participate in this year's Slam Dunk Contest over All-Star Weekend if asked:
In case you're wondering what dunk Schmitz is referencing, here you go:
Following the pedestrian dunk acts of the last two years, Oladipo's athleticism would be a welcome sight at this year's competition. Maybe he could be the one to help reinvent the current rumpled image this exhibition currently sports.
Stars once flocked to the contest, which was initially revived by innovative artists like Blake Griffin, Nate Robinson and Dwight Howard, among others. However, since 2011, when Griffin won, it's lacked that must-see factor.
Established superstars and household names haven't been putting their hops on display for the world to see. The very players who define the league seem to avoid it. LeBron previously indicated to ESPN's Brian Windhorst that he has more to lose than he does to gain by participating, the closest thing to a valid explanation he's given us over the last 10 years.
Calls for LeBron to take over the dunk contest will likely never stop, following him into the twilight of his career. Fans, meanwhile, anxiously await the arrival of a new mid-air virtuoso, someone who can again infuse meaning and intrigue into what was once the premier All-Star Saturday night event.
Is that someone Oladipo? Could be. He's incredibly athletic and has more than his fair share of highlight reels dating back to his time at Indiana.
Invite him. That's all I can really say.
The NBA has a rising young star willingly throwing his name into the dunking ring. It doesn't have to chase him or raise the stakes to peak his interest.
Invite LeBron as well. Only this time, his invitation should be sent not via email or carrier pigeon, but toted by Oladipo. He can already rock rims, so who knows—perhaps he moonlights as a master of persuasion too.