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LeBron James 'Preliminarily' Commits to the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest

Feb 15, 2009 – 12:05 AM
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Matt Watson

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LeBron JamesAs Nate Robinson and Dwight Howard battled it out during of the finals of Saturday's Slam Dunk contest, TNT's Kenny Smith revealed that LeBron James has agreed to participate in the 2010 Slam Dunk contest. Surely he was joking, right? Putting King James on the spot in an effort to shame him into accepting?

Apparently not. Minutes later, James confirmed the news to Cheryl Miller. "Right now I'm preliminarily putting my name in the 2010 contest Saturday night," he said before continuing in the third-person, "LeBron James is saying in 2010, in Dallas Stadium, [preliminarily] he will compete." If he follows through, we may be witness to one of the greatest contests in All-Star history -- even if I'm not entirely convinced he'll win.

Yes, James is a freak of nature, and watching him maneuver on a fast break is a lesson in raw power and athleticism. But while his dunks may register on the Richter scale, it takes creativity to win the contest, which puts him on equal footing with the rest of the contestants.

Well, almost equal footing -- Smith also said that James' planned on one-upping Howard by dunking on a 13-foot rim, and while Smith was probably joking, LeBron is such an incredible athlete you never can tell.

Either way, here's the best news: if James puts his hat in the ring, the pressure will be on every other All-Star to join him. Can you imagine him having it any other way? Do you really think he'd agree to compete after so many years of fans begging him only to be shown up by the likes of J.R. Smith or Rudy Fernandez? No chance.

I'm not sure Kobe Bryant or Vince Carter still have the springs in their legs to compete, but at the very least James' presence could set the stage for the likes of Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant (yes, he'll be playing on Sunday by then) and Howard.

Even Robinson seemed to know the score, telling Miller during his acceptance speech that he wasn't sure if he'd compete again next year. Having LeBron in the contest would be the best thing to happen to the NBA's All-Star Weekend in years, and if he wants to handpick the contestants, you have to believe the NBA will let him.
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