Ja Morant Will Reportedly Pass On The Dunk Contest At All-Star Weekend In Chicago

The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA since the start of the new year. They’re 6-1 in January, and that stretch has coincided with some of their best and most efficient offensive production in franchise history. Oh, and they also have an electrifying rookie named Ja Morant who is currently the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award.

Morant’s quickness and explosiveness make him one of the toughest point guards to check, regardless of age, and during his young career, he’s already submitted several highlight-reel dunks that have taken Twitter by storm. Heck, even his misses have gone viral, most notably that time he nearly jumped over Kevin Love, prompting Love consider just how close he came to being forced into early retirement.

So it was with great excitement that we learned Morant had been invited to the dunk contest a few weeks ago. But unfortunately, we won’t get to see him participate this time around as he wants to avoid putting any extra strain on his body after missing several games in December with a back injury after falling onto camera operators on the baseline.

Via Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Memphis Grizzlies standout rookie Ja Morant has decided not to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in Chicago next month, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Maintaining good health for the duration of the season is his main priority, sources said.

The good news: Morant hasn’t ruled out participating in future contests, sources said.

For now, only Dwight Howard has officially confirmed that he will compete in this year’s contest, making it his fourth appearance. In the meantime, we’re still waiting to hear whether Zach LaVine, a two-time dunk champ, will accept his invitation, as well as who the other contestants might be.