Thursday , April 18 2024

Vince Carter spilled the beans on a $1 million dunk contest

Many of the festivities were up for discussion following the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, with none more talked about than the slam dunk contest. Former dunk champion and current TNT NBA analyst, Vince Carter, appeared on “Run it Back” on Fanduel TV and confirmed a legendary rumor. Carter said he was approached by the league regarding a $1 million dunk contest, which would have included four of the best dunkers of their era. Would something similar help persuade today’s top stars to join the dunk contest?

“It was Kobe, T-Mac, LeBron…But guys didn’t want to do it,” Vince Carter said.

Of course, once Carter let this information out, the speculation began on who said no to this proposition by the NBA. Three of the aforementioned names — including Vinsanity — had already competed in the dunk contest. Carter won in 2000 competing against McGrady, and Bryant won in ’97. At the time, only James had not taken part — and still hasn’t. By the time Bron finished his run in Miami, his joining the dunk contest was nothing more than a pipe dream.

Fantasy booking

The $1 million carrot is something that could potentially entice today’s biggest stars to join the contest. The NBA would likely need to up the money, but it’s something to consider. Imagine the ’25 slam dunk contest featuring Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Anthony Edwards, and Mac McClung. If we’re being realistic, you’ve got to include McClung as the reigning back-to-back champ.

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Even without McClung defending his title, Morant, Williamson, and Edwards have enough young star power to at least boost anticipation. Maybe the association could talk Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon into joining the fray one last time to take on the youngins. While LaVine is only 28 years old, he’d be the senior in this group, as the others are all under 25. He’s also a former back-to-back winner dominating the competition in ’15 & ‘16. Gordon lost to LaVine in ’16.

Obviously, this is all fantasy booking, especially for players like LaVine and Gordon, who are approaching 30 and have more wear and tear on their bodies. It’s very unlikely they’d accept the invite and, in all honesty, it’s hard to see Ja or Zion accepting either.

“I’m not doing the dunk contest,” Morant said last year.

So Morant is on record saying he won’t do it and Williamson’s had such a hard time staying on the court his first few years in the league it’s almost guaranteed he wouldn’t do it. But let’s give credit where it’s due, Zion has played in 46 of New Orleans’ 57 games this season — by far the healthiest he’s been thus far. In February of ’23, Williamson did an interview with Complex where he stated that if he was going to do the dunk contest, it would be next year. Well, that time has come and gone so seems we’ve missed that window of opportunity.

So many stars, so little interest. That’s the story of the NBA’s slam dunk contest in this era.

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