March 5, 2013
Magic Johnson's offer of $1 million to LeBron James to do the 2014 All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest was a blatant publicity stunt.
First, if you were serious Magic you would have made the donation to his charity, LeBron needs another $1 million in his pocket about as much as Magic does. Second, you think Magic is the first one here? LeBron has had sponsors approach him with fantastical offers to do the dunk contest before, he still has chosen to sit it out.
What was LeBron's response to Magic's offer? Pretty much a shrug, reports Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.
"Right now, I don't know," he said. "It doesn't really stand anywhere. Right now, I'm so focused on what we're doing as a team….
"Shoot, All-Star weekend is how far away?" he said of next February's showcase in New Orleans. "So I'm really not thinking about right now. It was entertaining to hear him say that, though."
What was he going to say?
LeBron will not do the dunk contest. He doesn't want to and at this point he sees this as a no-win situation (win and he was supposed to, lose and he gets another round of "he's no Jordan" talk). It's not going to happen.
This whole dunk contest "controversy" is a Rorschach test of how you feel about LeBron - you see what you want to see. If you don't like him and want to see him fail, not winning the dunk contest becomes important to you. If you are a LeBron backer you shrug at the contest and winning it pretty much like LeBron does.
When LeBron steps away from the game one day, the dunk contest will have no impact on his legacy. Rings will be number one now, followed by his level of play through the peak of his career (going on now, the question is for how long). That's it.