Court Vision: LeBron James nixes Dunk Contest, despite Dwyane Wade’s efforts
By Ben Golliver
• The NBA appointed Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul as All-Star Saturday conference captains on Thursday.
• One of their tasks, apparently, was to recruit heavy hitters for the Three-Point Contest and Slam Dunk Contest. ESPN.com reports that Wade’s efforts to convince LeBron James to finally compete in a Dunk Contest proved unsuccessful. James also declined to participate in the Three-Point Contest.
“I tried to convince LeBron,” Wade said Friday before the Heat took on the Indiana Pacers.
“On the dunk contest?” James said when Wade asked. “Oh no, that’s out.”
“I told him I’d throw him a lob and we’ll win,” Wade said. “He turned me down; I think he got nervous.”
• The photo above, in case you’re wondering, was snapped in Seoul, South Korea in 2006. James, Paul and Joe Johnson were apparently impressed with someone’s dunking skills during a Nike tour.
• The Miami Herald reported that Knicks reserve James White will be one of the Slam Dunk Contest participates, according to Wade.
• Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones found this phenomenal photo of four friends dressed up as NBA players.
• More retirement talk from Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy, who opens up to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
While performing a move in the first 20 minutes of the workout, he felt something in his right knee that he has felt far too often. He tweaked it, eliminating any possibility of him returning to action before the All-Star break.
“As soon as it happened, in my head, I said ‘I quit. I just quit,” an emotional Roy told CSNNW.com. “That was my first thought, that I couldn’t do this anymore.
“I’m at a crossroad in my career.”
• SlamOnline.com has photos of Deron Williams’ new Manhattan penthouse and it looks unbelievable. Price tag: $15.8 million.
• The NBPA placed executive director Billy Hunter on “indefinite leave” following a damaging review of the union’s practices. Hunter’s lawyer, Thomas R. Ashley, defended his client to the New York Times.
I am deeply troubled by the lack of fundamental fairness shown my client by a group whose authority to take such action is highly questionable. The act of placing my client on administrative leave is not supported in either the constitution or bylaws of the N.B.P.A. Furthermore, Mr. Hunter was not given any opportunity to respond to the Paul, Weiss report prior to the time that a decision was made to place him on administrative leave.
• Henry Abbott writes at TrueHoop that things look very bad for Hunter.
But so long as lawyers have “significant concerns about the validity” of a contract promising $3 million in players association funds to a vendor with ties to Billy Hunter’s family, and so long as the U.S. Attorney is interested in that, there’s every chance the legal fallout from this could be serious and long-standing. Nobody is out of the woods.
And the victims in all this, of course, have always been the NBA players, who have long been deprived the benefits of a director who puts their issues first.
• Eric Freeman of Ball Don’t Lie explores whether dreadlocks can be hazardous to a player’s health.
• This week’s sign that the apocalypse is upon us: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is reviewing Girls for Huffington Post.