During a recent airing of ESPN KIA NBA Countdown, former Los Angeles Laker and current analyst Earvin “Magic” Johnson offered Miami Heat forward LeBron James $1 million dollars to participate in next year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Competition.
“Please, LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars. A million dollars from Magic to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.” (USA Today)
Well, it looks like his words are getting through to James, at least a little bit.
LeBron told ESPN reporter Lisa Salters before Sunday afternoons game against the New York Knicks that he has always thought about participating, but didn’t have a concrete answer to give Magic right at that moment.
“Tell him I’ll get back to him”, said James.
During the halftime show, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (who was being interviewed at the time) said that he would pledge $1000 of his own money to help entice James. Analyst Michael Wilbon said that he would match Durant’s $1000.
All of this should be taken with a grain of salt. The 2014 NBA All-Star weekend is a long, long ways away. Heck, we’re just weeks removed from this year’s edition.
$1 million dollars is pocket change to a guy like LeBron, but it could certainly be used as an act of goodwill if he were to compete and donate the prize winnings to his foundation or the charity of his choice.
It’s ultimately his decision, but with the constant outcry from fans and basketball personalities alike, it may eventually get to the point where he feels the need to compete in order to silence the many critics who are constantly on his back.