LeBron James Says He's Still 'Not a Dunk Contest Guy'

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LeBron James Says He's Still 'Not a Dunk Contest Guy'
USA Today

PHOENIX — He conducted his slamming show after the Heat's practice session was opened to the media.

So LeBron James had to know that he was opening himself up to a new round of questions and criticisms regarding his decade-long refusal to participate in the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest.

On the evening after, James didn't seem particularly troubled by the somewhat comical controversy he recreated.

Calling himself "not easy to persuade these days," James laughed when asked why he was against it.

"I'm not against it," he said. "I just don't want to do it. Do I have to be against something because I don't want to do it."

So why not?

"I don't know," James said. "I don't know."

Chris Andersen chimed in: "'Cause he don't want to, man."

"Tell 'em again, Bird," James said.

"He don't want to," Andersen repeated.

When asked if he realized that dunking in front of the cameras would reignite this issue, James replied, "Yeah, I was doing it before the cameras got there, and they just, so...It doesn't matter to me, though."

Why does he think it's so important to some people?

"Because it's me and I haven't done it, and I dunk in the game," James said. "So there's a lot of factors."

Does he have some philosophical reason for avoiding it?

"If there was, I wouldn't tell you," James said. "Because then it would be another story."

Sponsorship-related?

"If it was a sponsor thing, I would have been did it," James said, again through a smile. "Because Sprite is all Saturday night. So I would have been did it, if it was sponsorship. So obviously, it's not that."

James said he competed in the McDonald's All-American Dunk Contest while a senior in high school "because I felt it was right to do...I've never been a dunk-contest guy. I don't know, I've just never had a feeling to do it."

Would a one-on-one tournament interest him more?

"Nope," James said. "I wouldn't do that, either. Nah."

James did see video of Anthony Davis performing his own spectacular off-the-wall windmill slam in Pelicans practice.

"Yeah, it was pretty good," James said.

But he didn't compare the two.

After all, he doesn't do dunk contests.

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