2010 NBA Dunk Contest Participants: Is LeBron In?

Austin HallContributor IJanuary 19, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 16:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Caveliers dunks the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter of the NBA basketball game at Staples Center on January 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. 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.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

On Feb. 14, 2009, while NBA fans watched Nate Robinson and Dwight Howard dazzle in the dunk contest we had something else to keep our minds on. LeBron James and the 2010 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.

Like many others I thought of the possibilities of what James could do as one of the highest jumpers in the NBA. I was like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he got his Red Ryder BB gun: my imagination went wild.

"Right now I'm preliminarily putting my name in the 2010 contest Saturday night. LeBron James is saying in 2010, in Dallas Stadium, [preliminarily] he will compete," said James.

Well, sorry dunk contest fans. The Akron Hammer will be sitting in the stands that Saturday. Remember, he preliminarily entered his name in the 2010 dunk contest. Nothing was official.

Still, there is nothing to be disappointed about. Some great dunkers are set to face off in the 2010 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Here they are:

Nate Robinson, New York Knicks

The champ looks to defend his title (no disrespect, but Dwight Howard should have won last year, you cannot jump over people when you use their back). Robinson wants to add a third dunk contest trophy to his case, something no NBA player has accomplished in the history of the dunk contest.

He stated, "It's in the rulebook. You win, you go back. Every year." He also said he would revisit his "KryptoNATE" dunk .

In my opinion, he better come back with some new stuff because after seeing him compete in three dunk contest (this being his fourth), the "getting high scores just because of his size" act is getting old quick. It won't be easy coming up with new material, he'd better start practicing now.

Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats

Gerald Wallace's wish of being in the dunk contest came true. Wallace is back in the dunk contest after taking an eight-year hiatus since his last dunk contest in his 2002 rookie year with the Sacramento Kings, where they had the lame wheel to decide how the players would dunk and Jason Richardson brought home the trophy.

I have high expectations for Wallace if he still has the hops he had in 2002 , which I think he does. He is one of my two choices to make it to the finals.

Shannon Brown, Los Angeles Lakers

The Let Shannon Dunk campaign worked. Brown is my dark horse to win the whole thing. I have seen him do some amazing stuff, especially when he was in the high school McDonald's Dunk Contest as a McDonald's All-American in 2003.

I feel if he would not have missed some dunks in that, he would have beaten King James. How many people have you seen do a 360 from near the free throw line ? I have only seen one: Shannon Brown.

Prepare to be amazed by Shannon Brown on NBA All-Star Saturday as he is my pick to win it all if he can nail his dunks.


DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors vs. Eric Gordon, Los Angeles Clippers

I am not sure how I feel about this. DeMar DeRozan will face off against Eric Gordon in a dunk-in during halftime of the Rookie-Sophomore game. My questions are: How many dunks will there be? Will they have to show the best stuff they have?

I do not like this idea, it is almost worse than the H-O-R-S-E competition last year (don't bother to look it up). Anyway, whatever they do I expect DeRozan to get into the real thing on NBA All-Star Saturday. His athletic ability is amazing and he has not received the opportunity to show it off in the NBA. In high school he won the 2008 McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk Competition and at USC he had some crazy dunks.

Tune in to the action Saturday night, Feb. 13 on TNT and until then, let me know your thoughts and opinions on the event.


Thanks to ESPN.com for breaking the news on the slam-dunk participants. Information from ESPN.com is included in this report.