Sports Out West

Magic Johnson to LeBron James: ‘Get in the dunk contest’

Magic Johnson Wikimedia Commons

Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson pleaded with LeBron James to rescue he and fans everywhere from what has been a debacle in recent years when he offered a $1 million penance to the superstar for participating in next NBA slam dunk contest. 

“Please, LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars,” Johnson said on ESPN’s Kia NBA Countdown. “A million dollars from Magic to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there.”

He further went on to say that that million dollars would also go to anyone who could beat him. James has drawn a lot of attention for his recent pre-game dunking ritual, but has since vowed to stop. He’s routinely called himself an in-game dunker and not as much of a showman as some of the recent winners, but the fans clamor for his participation every year. 

On Friday’s broadcast, Johnson and his colleagues discussed the fact that the contest is missing its luster because superstars have been reluctant to participate in the event on a consistent basis. Jalen Rose cited Blake Griffin as an example of a high-profile player who won the event, but has since not defended his title. 

In 2012-13, James is ranked seventh in the league in dunks with 98. Griffin is first with 152. 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.