Almost every pro athlete faced some form of adversity on their way to the pros. Whether these came in the form of life-threatening moments, harsh upbringings or simply someone saying they weren’t good enough (Michael Jordan missing the varsity team in high school comes to mind), those moments can serve as instructive memories — the obstacles in their way can be turned into the foundation on which they build their career. Or, if you’re Andrew Wiggins, you lose a dunk contest back in high school and decide never to try again.
Yes, the reason why Wiggins says he won’t be taking on his teammate Zach LaVine in the NBA Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday is because he lost a dunk contest in high school. What?
“My story is, I lost in high school, right when I was in the McDonald’s [All-]American Game, so I really don’t do … dunks anymore,” Wiggins said during an interview with ESPN.com. “I kind of retired that back, left that in high school, so I don’t really do it anymore.”
Andrew, this is laaaame. Whatever happened to the competitive spirit of overcoming adversity and proving doubters wrong? Do you think that if Draymond Green lost at something, he’d decide never to try again? Maybe that’s why Green gets better every year, and there’s a serious case to be made that Wiggins is regressing. Alright, that’s an unfair thing to say, but still, it would be nice to see more of a killer instinct from Wiggins every once in a while.
LaVine will certainly be back to defend his Dunk Contest crown, but Wiggins won’t be there to challenge him. Instead, they’ll have to content themselves with the Rising Stars game.