Boston Celtics small forward Jaylen Brown tells MassLive’s Jay King that the NBA reached out to him about entering the 2017 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest, but he isn’t sure whether or not he will participate:
“I’m not really worried about anybody (else who might be in the contest) or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. It’s just with your rookie year, your body and everything, it’s just a lot. It may seem foolish, all those dunks and stuff, they look cool, but it takes a toll on your body for sure. And I want to put myself in the best position to help this team. The dunk contest — it may or may not take from it, but I don’t think it’s good or bad. It’s just something you’ve got to decide about.”
“I heard from our Celtics department,” Brown explained. “I didn’t hear from the NBA. They just told me, ‘If you want to do it they’ve been asking about you,’ or whatever. ‘They’ve probably been asking about a few others but if you want to do it just let us know.’ I said, ‘OK.’ I said, ‘I’ll let you guys know.’ So they gave me a few days to decide.”
If he does dunk at All-Star weekend, Brown believes he would unleash “some stuff that somebody’s never seen before.” The 20-year-old wing has received pointers from teammate Gerald Green, the 2007 dunk contest champion.
“A lot of it’s just mental creativity,” Brown said. “G-Green has been coaching me up a lot and things like that, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.”
Brown added that he will likely make his decision this weekend. He also said that if invited, he will participate in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe clarified that the NBA has not extended an official invitation to Brown, and described the talk as “more of a what-if conversation.”
The NBA also plans on inviting San Antonio Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons to participate, reports Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News.
Brown and Simmons are both explosive leapers who would likely be exciting Dunk contestants.