Social media, blogs and ESPN have been obsessed with LeBron James and the personal dunk seminar he put on in Miami Heat practice Monday. As the defending champs prepare for the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night, Monday’s practice ended with a series of ferocious and vicious dunks, only further infuriating NBA fans across the globe. Why might James’ entertaining performance upset the basketball universe?
Fans, myself included, are sick and tired of James opting out of the All-Star weekend dunk contest year after year, only to hold his own in a Heat practice right before the event. Oh, James, you are so cool with how you throw down massive dunks in practice, with no pressure on you, no competition. In case you didn’t pick up on that, it was sarcasm.
Everyone knows that James can dunk and usually does it with power. We have seen his signature tomahawk, stick out the chest dunk time and time again, but that gets a little old after the 210th time. What fans really want to see is James compete in the Dunk contest, and this year would had been the time to do it, with fellow opponents Paul George and John Wall set to throw down. Not only would it silent critics, but it would also solidify James as the best dunker in the league, if he won.
I should state that the slam dunk is an impressive skill and not everyone has the physical ability to grab a 10 foot basketball rim and slam the ball through it like a barbarian. James’ practice dunks were fantastic, but by now he knows how badly he is upsetting fans. It is almost like he is poking fun at the Dunk Contest with his little practice show.
We may never see James as a contestant in the dunk competition and as long as he refuses to compete, as far as I am concerned, he cannot be crowned the best dunker in the Association, because he has yet to test those skills against anyone. My words of advice to James is either compete or shut your mouth. If he does compete, he can hold all the practice dunk shows he wants; he can even have a television special dedicated to just him dunking. But until he does compete, he will be considered a talented dunker, but not the league’s best dunker.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantNBA, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.