THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Per ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, Zach LaVine has officially been invited to participate in the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest. LaVine has apparently not yet decided whether he’ll join the event – instead, he’s rumored to be waiting around for an important result.
Zach LaVine has been invited to participate in this year’s dunk contest in Chicago, but hasn't made a decision, per sources. He is more likely to participate if he makes the ASG. He was 5th for guards on East's first fan voting with a career-best 23.8 ppg and 39.8% from 3.
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 6, 2020
Woodyard tweeted that LaVine is more likely to join the dunk contest if he makes the All-Star Game, which falls in line with similar comments he made to K.C.Johnson earlier this season.
“Obviously, I feel I’d be more inclined to do it if I’m playing in the game,” LaVine told Johnson. “But I feel like I should do something during All-Star weekend, if it’s the game, 3-point contest, dunk contest, something. I know I still got some dunks left.”
Yes, you most definitely should do something. With Chicago set to host this year’s festivities, it only feels natural that LaVine represents the hometown team in some way. What’s a better way than by winning your third NBA Slam Dunk trophy?
If LaVine’s decision is truly contingent on All-Star voting though, then we’re all going to have to anxiously await his answer.
The NBA released its first All-Star voting return last week, and LaVine sat in 5th place among Eastern Conference guards with 174,991. The tally put him one place ahead of 76ers guard Ben Simmons (159,065) and one place behind former MVP Derrick Rose (233,669). Moving LaVine into one of the top two spots in the Eastern Conference feels almost impossible with Trae Young, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker all battling it out with numbers in the 400,000’s. Although, if he can keep up the strong play, it’s fair to think he could finally make the cut as a reserve.
Considering fans probably care more about a dope dunk contest than the All-Star Game, itself, I got to give LaVine credit for trying to sway votes his way. Not a bad move.
Anyway, if LaVine were to accept right now, he’d reportedly be joining the Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard and Miami Heats’ Derrick Jones Jr. The news dropped today that both players were invited and accepted their invitations.
Like LaVine, it’s also been reported that rookie Ja Morant has received an invitation and is debating whether or not to join (just do it, you’re a rookie).
As for the Magic’s Aaron Gordon, we’re still waiting to hear whether he received his invitation. Gordon said this offseason he wants a rematch with LaVine. So do we.
Make it happen, NBA.