CHICAGO — With All-Star Weekend in Chicago and Aaron Gordon taking part in the Slam Dunk Contest, everybody wanted Zach LaVine to join as well and set up a rematch of the epic 2016 event. But since LaVine didn’t get selected for the All-Star Game, he declined to participate in the Dunk Contest and instead opted to just stick with the 3-Point Contest instead in an attempt to make a little history. Nobody has ever won both events in their career.
However, that didn’t stop LaVine from teasing what could have been on Saturday night ... or maybe he’s teasing a surprise appearance? I doubt it, but seeing these kind of dunk attempts would be fun:
Crazy to think the greatest dunker in the league tore his ACL two years ago and came back with a HIGHER VERT pic.twitter.com/YfBSszeLZY— Josh J. (@JoshJBullsHoops) February 14, 2020
These videos quickly went viral, with fans making their own requests for a LaVine surprise. Wendell Carter Jr. was asked about the video at his Rising Stars Challenge media session on Friday morning after predicting LaVine would win the 3-Point Contest, and the young Bulls big man would love to see a Dunk Contest appearance as well.
“I hope so. He should,” Carter said. “I was begging him when I found out the Dunk Contest was in Chicago, I told him, ‘Bro, you gotta get in, you gotta get in.’ As everyone saw, he’s not in it, but he’s got some tricks in the bag. I’ve seen him dunk in practice and it’s crazy. Hopefully, he makes a surprise appearance for that.”
Even if this does turn out to be just a tease, it should be fun to watch LaVine go bombs away from 3-land in the 3-Point Contest. All-Star Saturday is usually the best part of All-Star Weekend, so let’s enjoy it, especially since Bulls fans can’t really enjoy their team.
ALL-STAR SATURDAY UPDATE: Zach addressed the viral video during his All-Star Saturday media session.
“It wasn’t even supposed to go viral. I got mad at my friend, he was with me recording. I was just messing around trying to see what I still had and what I could do. I was just practicing some things after I got done shooting.
LaVine then shot down the possibility of him making a surprise appearance.
“If I wanted to enter I would have entered. I think my dunking is something that carries with me everywhere, but I don’t need a lot more to prove in that area. I’ve won it a couple times. If I would have made the game I would have tried to do a lot more things at All-Star Weekend, but the 3-Point Contest is just something a little different I’ve never done before.”
Finally, I asked LaVine about Jimbo helping him prepare for the 3-Point Contest.
“He worked with Marco Belinelli. I haven’t caught up with Coach in a while, so I’ve got my own little routine, I’ve been getting it down. But I appreciate him trying to look out for me.”