With the Los Angeles Lakers suddenly on the rise back to relevancy in the NBA, second-year forward Larry Nance Jr. has emerged as one of the most important players on the roster. His energy, athleticism, and versatility is a major key to the success of the Lakers’ vaunted bench unit.
Above all else, however, Nance is known for his outstanding dunks. In his short career he is already creating his own highlight reel, and with his father being Larry Nance Sr., winner of the 1984 Slam Dunk Contest, many have been asking when Nance Jr. will follow in his father’s footsteps.
Nance Jr. has spoken before about being open to entering the Slam Dunk Contest and he re-iterated that point in an interview with Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
“I’ve always maintained that at some point, I would love to,” Nance said. “I just don’t know when. I don’t know if it’s this year. I don’t know if it’s next year. I don’t know at this point. I’ve just got to be ready.”
There is definitely a chance that Nance Jr. could find himself in the contest this season as he was invited to participate last season, but declined because he was dealing with some minor injuries at the time.
Nance also admitted, however, that he wouldn’t be ready for the dunk contest right now because he hasn’t been able to plan anything via Holmes:
“Honestly, if they threw me in one right now, I’d get last place, because I have no idea what I would do,” Nance said. “It would just take a lot of planning, which I haven’t [done]. Instead of worrying about dunks, I’m trying to figure out my jump shot and stuff like that.”
Following last season’s classic showdown between Minnesota’s Zach LaVine and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, Nance tweeted that he was on his way to ‘do some lunges and squats…’ which immediately led many fans to dream about the potential of adding Nance to that mix.
2017 could be the year for that to happen, although Nance is currently dealing with minor injuries again. He suffered a knee contusion in Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors and is questionable for Saturday’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies.
At the rate he’s going, Nance could very likely receive another invitation to the Slam Dunk Contest this season and his inclusion will make it a must-watch.