James recently shared that the contest was never really part of his goals, so he didn't feel the need to join it and attempt to win the dunk trophy. He even went as far as to comparing it to other accolades like making the NBA All-Star, as well as winning league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and championships, which he said were his actual goals.
“I don't think it was something I wanted to accomplish in my career; it’s not a goal of mine and it never was coming into the NBA to be a part of the Dunk Contest, you know? Making the NBA All-Star Team was, being the league MVP, winning Defensive Player of the Year, winning NBA Championships…? Those were some goals of mine. The NBA Dunk Contest was never a goal of mine so, it wasn’t something that I had too much passion for,” James said, via Brandon ‘Scoop B' Robinson of Bally Sports.
While his explanation makes sense, however, not everyone believed him. In fact, plenty of critics called cap on his statement and shared their thoughts on his revelation.
“He is the goat of this generation, but he sounds like he just didn’t want to lose in Dunk Contest in my opinion!” a commenter said.
“He's selling, I'm just not buying,” another Twitter user noted. A third one had the same sentiment, saying: “LeBron lying again…”
Some critics also noted how LeBron James previously committed to participating in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest when he “preliminary” put his name for the 2010 iteration of the competition, only to back out from his word.
“How wasn’t it a goal when you “I’m preliminarily put my name in the 2010 dunk contest,” a Twitter user added.
Another detractor shared, “The man got on live TV and said he was doing it lol. He just didn’t want to potentially lose. He ducked that smoke.”
Of course LeBron had his fair share of believers who were convinced by his reasoning. But at the end of the day, while it's understandable, it's also hard to blame others for feeling disappointed that one of the most gifted athletes ever never got to show his dunk package.