James is one of the most athletic and physically gifted athletes to ever step foot on the NBA hardwood, which is why it's not a surprise fans wanted him to participate in the annual dunk showcase. He has all the tools to succeed in it and deliver a performance that supporters have been craving for years. With the contest's popularity declining as well, James' participation would have definitely given it a major boost.
Unfortunately, James never gave in to those calls, and he has a simple reason for doing so: it's not his goal.
“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,” the Lakers forward told Brandon ‘Scoop B' Robinson of Bally Sports when asked why he never joined the competition.
While it's definitely disappointing to hear, what LeBron James said is understandable. Even if he was forced to do the dunk contest, it would have been useless and not that entertaining if he can't go all-out. That lack of motivation to win it could have resulted in a rather lackluster showing.
But hey, at least we finally have an answer to one of the biggest mysteries in basketball.