Boston Globe: The Celtics should have two representatives at the All-Star festivities with the NBA slated to announce today that Davis has been invited to the slam-dunk contest. Pierce was named a reserve last week
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James plans to watch the NBA's dunk contest -- for now.
James was not among the four players the league announced Tuesday will take part in the event during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. But the Cleveland Cavaliers' star rookie has been hinting at a possible surprise appearance.
Citing a sprained right ankle that sidelined him for three games, James recently turned down the NBA's invitation to be in the dunk contest. James could reconsider, however.
"I don't know," he said. "I'll think about it. There are a lot of people who want me to do it."
If James does decide to participate, the league would probably welcome him.
Golden State's Jason Richardson will try for a third straight dunking crown against Boston's Ricky Davis, Denver's Chris Andersen and Indiana's Fred Jones. No player has won three slam-dunk contests since the competition began in 1984.
While James remains noncommittal, there are signs that he might be ready to show his stuff.
Near the end of warmups before Monday night's game against Boston, James twice practiced a twisting, two-handed dunk that teammate Kedrick Brown couldn't match.
Also, this year's event is sponsored by Sprite, which signed James to a six-year marketing and endorsement deal in August.
James said he'll decide whether he participates.
"Ain't no pressure on me," he said. "I don't feel pressure. There are a lot of people who want me to be in it, but it's no pressure like it's a life or death situation."
James, 19, is scheduled to play in Friday's Rookie Challenge, and the dunk contest would be yet another appointment on a busy itinerary for the No. 1 draft pick, who Monday night became the youngest player in league history to score 1,000 points.
In addition to fulfilling league obligations, James has commitments with Nike, which signed him to a six-year, $90 million deal in May.
"He's got a lot on his plate," said his agent, Aaron Goodwin. "But the dunk contest will be LeBron's decision. He said no before, but if he's healthy enough, he could change his mind."
James had several big dunks in Monday night's game before straining his left calf muscle late in the third quarter. He returned in the fourth period and scored five of his 24 points in Cleveland's 97-89 win.
James was limited in practice Tuesday, but he expects to play Wednesday night against New Jersey.
jsm0331 wrote:but J-Rich has been the champ for 2 straight years and he will be looking to make this his 3rd, I don't think he would go easily. I am still predicting J-Rich will win it.
First to be eliminated-Anderson
2nd to be eliminated-Freddy
Finalists-J-Rich and Ricky
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