Per reports, Boston Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown and San Antonio Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons have both been invited to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest during 2017 All-Star Weekend. One of the most entertaining in-game dunkers in the NBA, Larry Nance Jr. was likely a lock to be invited. However, if he is invited, he will likely decline the invitation, as he wants to be at 100% when he participates (Nance suffered a bone bruise in his knee back in December). From Bill Oram of the Orange County Register:
“The timing of it is obviously not ideal,” Nance said. “The same thing kind of happened last year, I don’t even know if I have that much time to prepare, I don’t even know if the other guys have accepted. But I’m kind of sitting, waiting on it, but I think this year might be out of the cards.”
With three weeks until All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, Nance said he could throw together some plans if he were invited to participate but he’d prefer to be at full strength.
“That’s not what I want to give myself,” he said. “That’s not what I want to give the fans. I don’t think it’s fair to them, or fair to myself that I don’t give myself enough time to prepare. Unfortunately, two injuries this year and last year have prevented that.”
Likely to join the festivities are both of last year’s Dunk Contest phenoms, back-to-back champion Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon. Nance Jr., would have his work cut out for him against these guys; it’s unlikely that an injured Nance would have much of a chance. There’s always next year.