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5 Players Everyone Wants to See Participate in 2014 NBA Dunk Contest

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Choosing Five Candidates Who Would Electrify the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Every year when the NBA hosts its annual All-Star weekend there is no doubting what the premier event of the weekend is going to be: the Slam Dunk Contest. This contest overshadows the actual All-Star Game, various skill competitions and other games throughout the weekend because of its mix of enthralling athleticism, incredible atmosphere and the overall awe that comes with watching the best of the best dunk a basketball. All in all, the All-Star weekend is nothing without the Slam Dunk Contest.

The only problem in recent incarnations of the event is that many of the best basketball players in the world are not willing to participate and seemingly have no incentive to do so. After all, the last two winners of the event were Terrence Ross and Jeremy Evans who, with all due respect, do not live up to the standard of Michael Jordan (1987 and 1988) and Dominique Wilkins (1985) winning the event with dunks that are landmarks in the history of basketball.

While there is no guarantee that any true superstars will compete in the 2014 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Feb. 15, I have decided to go ahead and dream by composing a list of the five players everyone wants to see participate in the event. Each of the people I have chosen are not only good basketball players but true stars of the game, and they possess the mix of charisma, athletic ability and brand attractiveness to bring the event back to its 1980s greatness.

Enjoy!

Tyler Leli is a Washington Capitals writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter, "Like" him on Facebook or join his network on Google.

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5. DeAndre Jordan

NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

DeAndre Jordan may not be the most high profile player on the Los Angeles Clippers, but that doesn't mean he can't dunk the ball with anyone in the world. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound center has athletic ability that can match Dwight Howard, the strength of an NFL linebacker and is a veteran at throwing down dunks as a member of Lob City. Showing off his skills in a non-game setting would truly be must-watch television.

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4. Kevin Durant

NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Many people may think of Kevin Durant as a finesse player who is more apt at shooting than dunking, but this doesn't give true credit to the star forwards athleticism. Durant is already tall and lanky at 6-foot-9, 240-pounds, but with a 7-foot-5 wingspan one must only wonder if he could dunk on a 14-foot rim. After watching him dominate the NBA to a tune of 30.1 points per game in 2013-14, I wouldn't put anything out of the realm of possibility in a dunk contest.

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3. Blake Griffin

NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Griffin may have already participated and won the 2011 NBA Dunk Contest by jumping over the hood of a car and dunking the basketball, but who doesn't want to see an encore? The 6-foot-10, 251-pound power forward can simply jump out of the gym, and many people believe he could jump over the highest part of a car, not just the hood. The onus is on you, Blake, to prove you can.

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2. Paul George

NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George recently threw down a 360 windmill dunk against the Los Angeles Clippers that has already been hailed as the unanimous dunk of the year, but he could certainly do better in the actual NBA Slam Dunk Contest. The Indiana Pacers have one of the budding superstars in the NBA, and George could certainly put himself in the pantheon of greats by lighting up NBA All-Star Weekend in 2014.

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1. LeBron James

NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one person that every sports fan in the world would love to see participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, it is LeBron James. King James has refused to participate in the event ever since entering the NBA in 2003, and some people believe he will never surpass Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player ever without winning the Slam Dunk Contest. If James does participate in 2014, the event would likely see its highest ratings ever, and the superstar would certainly make sure to put on one of the best showings.