LeBron James Pregame Dunk Video: Should He Enter Slam Dunk Contest? [VIDEO & POLL]
LeBron James pulled off an insane dunk while warming up for Miami's contest with the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo: Reuters)
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As The Score reported, James was fooling around with some Heat teammates before the contest when he launched into a 360-degree, through-the-legs, off-the-backboard dunk. You can check out the video below, with the dunk in question beginning at around the 35-second mark. The clip is from a fan in the stands and is thus a bit hard to see, but James is easy to spot with his white headband.
Of course, as Sports Illustrated noted, James has never entered the annual slam dunk contest held during the NBA's All-Star weekend. Big stars used to enter the competition during its early years, with Michael Jordan winning back-to-back dunk titles in the late 1980s. Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter also participated about a decade later, per NBA.com.
However, in recent seasons, the dunk contest has been filled with relatively unknown names. As Yahoo Sports noted after the 2012 contest, the lack of stars and repetitive dunks have made the last few competitions somewhat of a letdown. Thus, many feel that the presence of players like LeBron James would make the competition must-see television once again.
At least two marquee NBA players agreed with this sentiment. As CBS Sports reported, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant made headlines last February for tweeting that James and some other stars need to participate in the competition.
Wade denied interest in Durant's plan but echoed the overall sentiment.
"Not me but I agree w the others," the guard replied.
James also told Fox Sports last winter that he will never participate in the dunk contest, despite former champion Jeremy Evans arguing that he would beat James if the two went head-to-head.
"It's over with," James said in December. "I'm getting too old for that ... There were times when I wanted to do it. But I came into All-Star Weekend a few times banged up and I didn't want to risk further injury."
Still, several fans are using this latest James video as evidence that the Heat guard should enter the dunk contest in the 2014 season.
"This is a travesty!" wrote Saleem Wright under ESPN's posting of the video. "Lebron is great but part of what makes superstars even more great is that they compete in what the fans want them too. [Larry] Bird (3 point contest) Jordan (Dunk contest) Kobe [Bryant] (Dunk contest) Lebron (Lay up line) C'mon man!"
However, others argued that the dunk competition would be better off without LeBron James.
"It'd be dumb to have him in it now," wrote Kyler Joseph Vanderwood. "People would be texting in votes for him before he even dunks!"
Should James enter an NBA slam dunk contest? Vote in our poll below.