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LeBron James Said Pre-Game Dunks in Cleveland Ignored Because of 'Small Market'

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 3, 2013 in New York City.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2013

LeBron James has been showing off some impressive dunks in pre-game warmups as of late, and the world has been going crazy, hammering home the opinion that he should participate in the slam dunk contest next season.

LeBron's got his own thoughts on the matter.

LeBron seems to think that there's a reason why there's suddenly increased attention being given to his pre-game routine.

I did it in Cleveland. You guys (the media) didn’t pay attention because it was a small market.

To his credit, LeBron has been putting on shows with his dunks before games since he was back in Cleveland, but the reasoning behind the increased attention is a multifaceted approach, not just because of the market he plays in.

In fact, Miami's television market is just the 16th largest of all NBA teams, while the Cleveland-Akron area is just 60,000 homes smaller at 18th in the league.

The increase in attention is coming from three different angles at the very least.

First, there's been a natural increase in media attention to basketball and sports in general over the course of the past three years, and it's only going to get bigger. People are going to continue to share their opinions, and this is something that people have a strong opinion on.

Second, LeBron's continual spurning of the dunk contest leaves people feeling as if we're all missing out on something that could be fantastic. Every time LeBron puts down a dunk contest worthy dunk, somebody will bring up his not participating in the contest.

Finally, there's a widely held opinion that the past two dunk contests have been a disappointment and greatly lacking in star power. People want to find any way to "fix" the contest, and if that means hammering home the point that LeBron should be involved, then so be it.

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