All-Star / Jan 18, 2010 / 12:48 pm

Shannon Brown Headlines The LeBron-Less Dunk Contest

Shannon Brown

Today at Penn Station in Manhattan, the NBA announced the participants in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest that will take place on All-Star Saturday Night on February 13. Rather than just naming the participants, the league took a creative and innovative approach to their announcement. They hired speed-painter Dan Dunn to sketch out the chosen dunkers in front of a curious crowd of around 100 in the crowded train station right under Madison Square Garden.

I got to admit, it was a pretty entertaining show. Starting at 11 a.m. ET, Dunn started painting like a mad man on the first canvas. With his paint splashing technique and the same fast-tempo background music you’d hear at a gymnastics competition, it took him roughly 8 minutes to sketch out the first painting which turned out to be the Lakers’ high-riser, Shannon Brown. The second contestant, was drawn as a charcoal sketch instead. That took only 5 minutes and the drawing ended up being Gerald Wallace – who has a chance to be an All-Star as well.

Before the artist painted the final participant, the MC at the event teased the crowd by saying, ‘I think you New Yorkers will be excited for this last one.’ While the buzz around the audience was about LeBron James – who said during last year’s contest that he’d compete the next year – but the artist ended up drawing the hometown, two-time dunk champ Nate Robinson instead. FYI: The artist said he practiced painting each guy for a week. He did say it was hard, because the NBA kept switching who was going to be chosen.

Earlier this week, the league announced that the fourth and final participant will be between Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and the Clippers’ Eric Gordon, who will battle it out in a Dunk-In competition during halftime of the Rookie/Sophomore Game on All-Star Friday Night.

Who do you think will win the dunk contest? Are you guys disappointed LeBron backed out of his promise?

Gerald Wallace

Nate Robinson

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  • Chainfire

    Lebron James is a liar i guess.

  • shiptar

    i didn’t recognize players on these paintings.
    i don’t like that they didn’t include lebron, and i don’t like that nate is in…again. he’s got nothing more to show.

  • MARCI

    Winner: DeMar DeRozan

  • kingralf

    legay is … well, obv.

  • Brown

    At this point, I’m starting to wonder if LeBron is running scared from the dunk contest. Why is he ducking and dodging it?

    I’m disappointed to see Nate in it again this year. He’s had his time. I’m guessing it’s because the NBA needed at least one recognizable face for the casual fans.

  • control

    Ugh, Nate Rob again? It’s seriously the only thing he has going for him…it’s more of a novelty thing, “hey, look at that midget motherfucker dunk!”. I just haven’t been impressed at all with his shit, the guy is an amazing athlete, not an amazing dunker. At least he’ll have time to think about what he is going to do when he’s chillin on the bench.

    LeBron is a bitch. Guy must think he’s “too good” to participate in the fucking dunk contest. Or it might be that his dunking is just a 6’8 version of Nate Rob’s, amazing display of athleticism but not very good as far as pure dunking goes.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    gerald wallace, shannon brown, nate robinson, demar derozan, eric gordon.

    is this truly the best the NBA has to offer for the Slam Dunk contest?!!?

    no disrespect to these players/athletes; but when this is the contestant lineup for such a high profile event is it any wonder nobody watches this shit anymore?!!?

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    at this point, I’d rather watch the AND1 streetballers dunk. i mean shit, if you ever been to allstar wknd you know that the AND1 team is all over the place. in the hotels, on the streets, at the functions, at the parties. they all over anyway, might as well have them participate.

    …i dunno what worse. bringing back lil nate robinson or having that spinning wheel bullshit a couple yrs ago…DONT BRING BACK EITHER ONE. EVER!

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    LeBron is wack and I got Nate for the win (hopefully not after 95 tries).

  • Promoman

    The question should be: Can Nate Robinson win a dunk contest legitimately?

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    side note:
    Shout out to the artist above….

  • UncheckedAggression

    Lebron probably wouldn’t have won it anyway. He’s not a creative dunker.

  • Drink the Haterade

    Its gonna be shannon brown

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    This is Gerald

    Even though LeBron wasn’t named, you never know, he could make a game time decision and you know they’d let him in.

    But from a business standpoint: Does LeBron have more to lose participating in a dunk contest than gain? If he came out and tanked would that hurt his appeal?

  • control

    Protoman

    Haha man, that is exactly what I’m thinking. The judges have straight robbed whoever Nate has been up against just because of the “wow, look at the midget!” factor.

  • dragonyeuw

    Kill the dunk contest. Have a one on one competition. Kobe, Melo, Lebron, Wade, Durant, Roy, Rose, whoever else. Dunk contest is tired and worn out. Why is Nate in it again? Really, the guy is one hell of an athlete but there will be a cap on the kinds of dunks he can do because of his height. Hence all the props, kryponite shoes and bullshit like that.

  • hahns

    lebron is a chump.

    see, the gain/loss argument is only persuasive for someone who is obsessed with their image. will it mean millions of less dollars for lebron? OF COURSE NOT. so he loses the dunk contest? so what? as long as he puts up some monster slams then he’ll have done enough. the fact that he would refuse to participate b/c it would affect his image is retarded. grow up- no one thinks youre invincible lebron.

  • http://twitter.com/therealknowbody GABRIEL BROGDEN

    This is SHANNON’S to lose!

    Lebron comin’ in anything but 1st is a L.

    He aint takin’ no L!!!
    Bron’s a smart guy.
    Changed his mind.
    Lied.
    Got scared.
    B****ed up.
    Whatever.

    Like I said, Shannon got this.

  • control

    Gerald

    The ONLY way LeBron could “tank” the contest would be to do something like come out and just do his typical tomahawk jam every single time (and still have judges give him 50 per because it’s LeBron).

    What does LeBron really have to lose? Even if he doesn’t win the contest, he looks like a bigger pussy by not even trying. Does Dwight have more to lose than LeBron? Did Dwight lose anything at all by competing and not winning (being robbed)? Even if he lost the contest, if he’s gracious about it, he gives the contest itself some legitimacy. Now the contest still looks like a scrub showcase that isn’t good enough for “stars” to compete in anymore.

    Adding Nate Robinson to add a “famous” name is pretty much just calling the contest a piece of shit.

  • Name (required)

    am i the only one glad Lebron isnt in it? I’m not too happy about the weak lineup, an i dont see what Nate can do that he hasnt already shown, but if Lebron was in it, he could have shot a free throw and gotten all 10s.
    SB is gonna win it, an im interested too see what crash does.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @UncheckedAggression — Even if his dunks weren’t as creative, LeBron still would win if he entered. Did you see him in the McDonald’s HS contest? As long as he jumped high and dunked hard, the judges and crowd got what they wanted to see and he got the W. And he does have some creativity. I’ve seen him do stuff in the layup line that could’ve been done in a contest and got legit high scores.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    ^Well said 100 percent agree.

    Also LeBron should have just come out earlier and had it done and over with by now. Every All-Star year this will be a thorn in his side long as the dunk contest is there.

    Although I would like to see Wade in it too!

    But for the dunking LeBron does in games, and the way ESPN go so crazy over his (same) dunks, it’s only fair that people want to see what he can do as far as a contest would go.

    LeBron lamed out on this one. He could have had all this out the way by now, it’s on him and then stop with the I might stuff, just do it.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    oh sorry I was 100 percent agreeing with Control lol.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    the punk ass bitch ass judges would give lebron a 50 just for walking on the court.

    if lebron enters the contest, i’d like to see joakim noah become a judge!

  • control

    Side topic, am I the only one that is worried that Gerald Wallace might get hurt during this? I know Bynum ain’t there to thug mug em, but he might be the first contestant to start the contest but not finish due to injury (lucky it wasn’t Tony Allen, he’d probably DIE in the contest).

  • bsmoot11

    i think part of the reason he’s not participating is because the dunk contest has been watered down quite a bit since the days of jordan and kobe’s participation. i remember last year he said he wanted to bring it back to those days and compete along superstars (wade, howard…), but the league is probably keeping it as superficial as it has been the last couple of years.

    the season probably caught up to him and he decided that it’d be better for him to chill and watch the contest courtside then to have to practice dunks during the all star break.

  • LakeShow84

    @ DIME

    If u guys are seriously defending Lebron you guys is straight ill..

    What does he have to lose?? WHO GIVES A FLUCK ITS COMPETITION.. all competitors stand to lose something thats why its COMPETITION.. you win you lose but you try.. His ass aint competing because he knows he’ll lose..

    There are no excuses.. i said it last year.. He had no business opening his mouth to take the attention off of what was happening at the moment.. What if you were watching last year, saw Lebron open his full of shit mouth, decided “shit i can miss this year scrubby superman themed contest and watch lebron next year”..

    And now the man aint got shit to say about it?? No sorry guys?? so as a fan of Lebron you f’ed..

    yeah defend that shit.. if you knew you werent going to do it then dont open your mouth and try to grab the attention.. cracks me up you guys trying to make him legit on this one..

    You know why he really aint competing?? Because hes a winner and he aint going to do something he knows he’ll lose at..

    Does that really sound right??

  • Celts Fan

    @AB – I emailed you earlier about the Talkin Crazy contest. Did you get that?

  • rlf

    how pathetic to read the “writers” of this magazine and see them act like little teenagers with a crush on lebron.

    get over it. he is a loser, not as a basketball player, but as a competitor. he loves the attention. last year, i was mad at him for taking away the spotlight from the contestants. knowing that he was never going to participate. how pathetic of a man and how pathetic of you to defend him.

    if it was another player saying the same thing as lebron did last year, you would’ve killed him. but not your boy lebron.

    he’ll enter the contest once he sees how his image will be dropping. and shame on the nba and david stern for allowing him to do whatever he wants, when he wants. one day it will bit david stern in his behind.

  • chitown hoops

    They should kill the dunk competition since so few stars are afraid of looking bad in it. Maybe they can rename it the bench players that can jump and will participate competition.

  • Tino

    We all knew Lebron wouldn’t go when it was rumored the contest might be opened up to street ballers.

  • Coop

    For the guy wanting a 1-on-1 competition, that’ll never happen for a few reasons, injuries being the top one (perhaps).

    Those of you on this board whining about competitors should get out more. The contest is a bit of fun during an entire weekend that is supposed to be just that. I’m English and we get virtually NO basketball coverage here in terms of games but I don’t sit here bitching, I’m just happy when I do get to see some ball played. Maybe you should be too.

  • hahns

    yeah lebron is weak man. the same reason he had that tape confiscated b/c he got dunked on. WHO CARES. its basketball- when you go up for a block, you get dunked on sometimes. get real.

  • shiptar

    yeah, they should start 1 on 1 competition with all the top players (i’m thinking only shooting guards and small forwards). That would be interesting, cause no one would wanna lose. Imagine: Lebron, wade, melo, kb, durant, j.johnson,…

  • cb4

    The NBA screws us over again, nate rob, cmon, if you want a small guy, how about westbrook, or rose, someone exciting who can make dunks on their first try, and who he havent seen 2 times already. I’m only looking forward to seeing derozan and brown, but I have a feeling brown isn’t even creative, hes just going to do 1 handed tomahawks to show how high he can get, winning based on vertical leap instead of actual dunks, nate rob style. Why doesn’t the nba have PROVEN dunk contest dunkers in this competition. All they have to do is watch the NCAA dunk contest to see who has potential and then select them. I’d much rather see an exciting no-name, than some “name” that has nothing to offer. Weems, Jr Giddens, sam young, and Terrance williams are all crazy dunkers and have way more to offer than the wallace and robinson. I’d rather even see budinger over those two, he’s extremely athletic and is just as marketable for his whiteness, the brent barry factor.

    On a side note,

    I wonder how many windmills were going to see this year. They should just outright ban that dunk unless its done from the ft line james white style, or at least give it 30’s, its by far the least creative dunk, and performed at least twice per contest.

  • cb4

    PS, Derozan is taking this. Toronto FTW

  • lee

    Geez. is this the best they can offer ??? I’d rather see a “Yo Mamma” competition between the best trash talkers in the league.

    I’d have Kobe, Iverson, Capt. Jack and Nash !!

  • JBaller

    I’m a Knicks fan so I’m already tired of holding my breath for LBJ. I don’t care if he participates in the dunk contest. I agree with #37 lee says:

    Geez. is this the best they can offer ??? I’d rather see a “Yo Mamma” competition between the best trash talkers in the league.

    That would be much more interesting. They could have a best trash talker of all time contest and get bird and jordan outof retirement!

  • Roman

    LeHype- I mean LeBron- never had any intentions on playing in the dunk contest. What is up with this dude. Maybe because they call him King, the league was gonna give him a trophy and ring. You gotta go out there an earn it.

  • sh!tfaced

    No surprise. LeBron just being a typical attention whore during last year’s all star weekend.

  • uguysoncrack

    @38

    you forgot payton and reggie

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Celts Fan you won trash talk? Man my trash talk quotes was better than yours lol.

  • JBEZZY

    damn stop complaining…if u dont like it dont watch it

  • banga

    LeBron is a Pussy

  • eyeused2b

    Lebron jumps high and dunks hard. I think Shannon Brown beat him at the McDonald’s contest, but Lebron had the hype and he jumped so freakin’ high that the crowd was in awe. I can’t remember anything he did that was particularly impressive though, and I haven’t seen any impressive dunk contest type dunks since he’s been in the league. He will crush your soul in a game, but with no fast break or no one to dunk on, who knows if he’s actually creative.

  • jdizzle

    Can somebody PLEEEEEAAAASSSSSEEEEEE sign James White? Its amazing how he cant stay signed to a team up to All Star Weekend. Shout out to Shannon tho Chi-town/Maywood in tha buildin

  • ballin

    I think we’ve already narrowed down the fact that Lebron bailed because he’s either

    1) Scared he might lose
    2) Thinks he’s too cool for the dunk contest

    Either option makes him a punk for bailing out. It really doesn’t matter to me what the actual reason is, he’s still a tool for backing out.

  • http://none freddy

    i dont give a fuck lebron is still the shit an for the one guy sayin he aint never did any impressive dunk in a game youtube betyewwen the legs dunk during nba game lebron or in highschool if im not mistake i think hes the only player to ever do a betwewen the legs dunk in a game and twice

  • Claw

    They need to make it legit, DWade, Kobe, VC, and LBJ, but that’ll never happen.

    What is up with the pictures, it looks like the ones they do when you go to the fair, but these look worse.

  • RC

    I want to see Lebron coming of the baseline throw the ball in the air, jump and slap the shotclock with his right hand and on the way down catch and dunk the ball with his left hand.

    Nate Robinson should try to get a trampoline and jump on it and while in the air curl to form a human cannonball and dunk himself.

  • darkdefender

    why’s everyone hating on lebron? if you review the timeline, you’ll see he’s done nothing wrong:

    – he saw last year’s dunk contest
    – got excited, make a claim that he would enter the 2010 dunk contest in dallas
    – got something stuck in his mangina, and
    – decided he didnt want to enter

    He didn’t do anything wrong!

  • ShowKase

    How bout this: the NBA changes their all-star voting process to something like 40/30/30 (fans/media/players) and in exchange the fans get to choose who we really want to see in the dunk contest (i.e. LeBitch, Josh Smith, James White, etc.) That way, everyone is happy, including the people who pay everyone in the League’s salaries, THE FANS.

  • shaz

    lebron should’ve not said anything if he was gonna back out. . . I love lebron but i hate him for pulling a duche bag move

  • shaz

    All im saying is this. . . if he knew he wasn’t gonna be in it he should not have said yes last year. . . Seeing nate in it again would really piss me off. . . Str8 up kobe did it, vince did it, jordan. . . And i know lebron can win it to, you just gotta see him in the warm ups the guys creative. . . But come on LEBRON don’t back out of your word it’s like superman backing out of a deal with the bad guys lol

  • http://nba momo

    for once in about 3 years, I’m really not looking forward to the dunk contest. And that means Im probably not gonna sit through all of that shit they host prior to the dunk contest, like I usually do.

  • http://nba artestful

    Haha i knew when i watched lebron make his predicition last year that he was talkin shit. He was just too excited from seeing all the dunks and had some sort of freudian slip…its happened to the best of us, am I right?

  • K

    That’s total bull shit about lebron losing appeal if he lost a dunk contest

    Most people don’t even look at it serioulsy he should worry about losing appeal for losing every year in the playoffs.. Did it Hurt dwights apeal when he lost twice ??

  • flegman

    hm…… LeBron Who?

  • UncheckedAggression

    AB- I was basing my statement on what I saw in the McDonald’s dunk contest. I was looking forward to it at the time and it was a disappointment. I know he is capable of doing some incredible dunks, but I also think there is a good chance that it would be a let-down. Vince Carter is the best dunker I have ever seen and it wasn’t based solely on hops. His dunks were beautiful–more aesthetically pleasing than anyone else’s. Lebron’s freakish athletic ability can only take him so far in a contest like this. I would like to point out that you are probably right about his chances to win this year. The competition isn’t exactly TMac and Stevie Franchise.

    Either way I’ll watch it. Hopefully somebody does some crazy shit.

  • yoda

    so princess james won’t be in dunk competition this year? or they will just hand him award anyway, and we will see him on tv screen, giving thanks to his fans, like they do on mtv awards, when winners can’t come?

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    They (NBA) should only hold the dunk contest every 3-4 years or so. Let the anticipation build and let the crowd forget about the year before when “insert name” thrw it off the backboard and caught it between the legs. Thats what ruins the vibe at the AS weekend. After the first round, the crowd has seen every windmill and off the bounce dunk there is. I’m still confused about which contest Dwight Howard won and didn’t win, it’s all a blur to me.

    Russ Westbrook should be in this contest. I know he wanted in last year, but they gave it to Rudy “vote me” instead. Why he’s not in it this year is beyond me.

    Big shout out to Shannon Brown, not to long ago he was hanging around Maywood with a look like he “failed everyone” because his hometown Bulls were treating him like $h!t. He recommitted himself to the gym and now he’s going to be on the biggest stage there is for someone of his talent. that’s how you get it in!

  • SJ

    LBJ just needs to do it and have fun with it. He doesn’t have to go to the creative lengths of Dwight or Nate to stand a good chance at winning.

  • black top grown

    Honestly, win or lose Lebron would have put on a show. Everyone knows the nikka can can fly. All star weekend is about having a good, light hearted time. On sum real shhh, pulling out of this was just about the worst thing he could have done if he was worried about his appeal. Side note, Downtown Shannon Brown taking this.

  • Africanballer

    people need to stop being so philosophical about what these nba guys say and stuff. Lebron is NOT a contest dunker. He’s a game dunker. he’ll go whatever feet above the rim over anybody(in game) but he’s not meant for this. Yea he talked last year but these guys make millions so they can ‘talk’. That’s it.