By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard
Recently NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson offered LeBron James $1 million to be in next years Slam Dunk Contest during All Star Weekend. Fellow analyst and former NBA star Jalen Rose added that he’d like to see Blake Griffin in this contest as well.
LeBron has never been in the Slam Dunk Contest. Will a million dollars get him to do it? Maybe but then again maybe not. While people around the internet debate the reasons why LeBron should or shouldn’t do the Slam Dunk Contest it begs the question, don’t fans want to see him in the Slam Dunk Contest?
Compare LeBron’s situation to another sport, MMA. There have been countless times when a fighter has lost a fight and yet was content with the show they put on for the fans. The Wanderlei Silva vs Brian Stann fight this past weekend is a classic example. Both fighters are true warriors and have absolutely no intention of letting the judges decide who would win the fight. They had some amazing exchanges in the 1st round before Wanderlei found the right combination to knockout Stann in the 2nd.
There are several fighters out there like Silva and Stann. So many that it’s hard to keep track. Fighters who put it all on the line and would rather put on an amazing fight for the fans then to play it safe and and take their chances with the judges decision.
So why is LeBron playing it safe? Yeah, he may lose the Slam Dunk Contest if he enters but he also might lose his next game so what’s the difference? It’s part of being a competitor. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose but the beauty of sports isn’t just winning, it’s putting on a memorable performance that lives on through the years. Much like Michael Jordan’s winning dunk at the 1987 Slam Dunk Contest where he took off -literally- from the free throw line. It wasn’t Jordan’s first Slam Dunk Contest. He lost his first one to Dominique Wilkins but the competitor he is made hime comeback to show that he was the best.
Should LeBron enter the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest? Yes and if for no other reason then to do it for the fans.