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Why LeBron James Skipped the 2010 Dunk Contest

DENVER - JANUARY 08:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during warm up prior to facing the Denver Nuggets during NBA action at Pepsi Center on January 8, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Cavaliers 99-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Charlie JonesContributor IJanuary 18, 2010

Highly athletic, highly gifted. So what’s the deal with never competing in a dunk competition?

I’ll tell you why.

As stated by a LeBron fan himself, he’s scared. Scared he’ll come in second place. Scared people are more into what happens before and after the dunk than the dunk itself. Scared he won’t be mentioned with names like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

Are you kidding me?

“I don’t know if you can get it back to the 80s and like in ‘98 when Vince (Carter) was in it,” James said. “It was more about the dunks and less about what was going on around the dunks. We’ll see what happens.”

You know one for sure way not to change what the dunk contest is becoming? Not participate.

This is what it takes to be a great player and it shows, once again, that LeBron doesn’t have what it takes. The cry baby attitude at the end of the Cavs playoff run in 2009. The apparent hushing of a training camp dunk over LeBron at his own camp. And now the refusal to be in the dunk contest.

The fear of being called a loser. A fraud. A fake. This is what LeBron is scared of and it is why he’ll never be great.

Here’s one of Kobe Bryant’s quotes (from Brainy Quote):

“Everyting negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.”

And Michael Jordan (also from Brainy Quote):

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

And last but not least, and why he will never be a great player, from LeBron James (from Brainy Quote):

“There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.”

LeBron doesn’t want to be great, he is happy to just be there on the court. Fear of failing, fear of not trying, that’s what makes great players great. Being scared of fear is admitting defeat before you ever step on the court.


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