Count Magic Johnson as an NBA fan who wants to see LeBron James in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. He made his stance perfectly clear during ESPN’s Friday ight slate of basketball coverage, putting one million dollars on the line and directly calling LeBron out by name:
“Please, LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars… A million dollars from Magic to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.”
LeBron has to do this now, right? One can point to his insecurity as the main reason why we’ve never seen The King in a Dunk Contest – lose, and his impenetrable cult of personality looks a little weaker. But Magic forced the issue: if LeBron backs out, he’ll look worse than if he lost the event.
The Slam Dunk Contest is one of NBA culture’s defining events. Thanks to Magic and his Scrooge McDuck-quantities of cash, we could finally be treated to the star of our generation putting his creativity to the test.