It happens right around this time every year. About a week before NBA All-Star weekend LeBron James puts on a slam-dunk exhibition that drives the media crazy. It’s so crazy that they don’t even notice — or choose not to report — things like Michael Beasley participating in the showcase on the Phoenix Suns’ practice court. But they did acknowledge the spectacle of it all.
Dwyane Wade and others grabbed their camera phones as James tossed football passes off pillars and walls and caught them for a variety of slams to the excitement of his teammates who watched replays from half court.
It was another check on the long list of teases that the Chosen One has hit people with when it comes to the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Why else would he have “waited for cameras to come in” before they put on this display?
It’s also the reason why he once told Cheryl Miller that he was “preliminarily” putting his name in for the 2010 dunk contest only to tell Fox Sports that he was “getting to old for that” in 2012. He then came out a year later and wowed the home fans with pregame routines and a Nike commercial to play up the possibilities, because he knows that the talk gets everybody going.
But Wade may have shed light on one of the major reasons why it has never happened:
“I think if [he] did get in it, people would expect him to jump off an airplane. The expectation is so high that it might be a small letdown as well.”
The main letdown is fans would realize that James is more of an in-game finisher than a prop dunker. The throws and the heights that he can get to are amazing, but the end results are usually the same things that you would see when the Miami Heat play.
Quite honestly, he’s just not that creative with his dunks so it’s smart not to enter the contest while continuing to feed these outlets enough tidbits to keep their mouths watering.
Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.