Larry Nance Jr. has made quite an impression in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Nance has played better than expected and could have a long-term future in Los Angeles as a result.
Along with becoming a starter under head coach Byron Scott and entertaining fans with his high-fly act, the Wyoming product doesn’t plan on being a part of All-Star weekend next month.
According to Baxter Holmes of ESPN, Nance was contacted by the league about potentially participating in the Slam Dunk Contest. Unfortunately, Nance won’t be taking part in the dunk contest due to a sore right knee he’s been dealing with:
Although the league didn’t extend an official invite — more of a “feeling-out” call to gauge interest, Nance told ESPN.com after practice Monday — the Lakers’ training staff ultimately advised against Nance taking part in this year’s contest because of continuous soreness in his right knee that has sidelined him for the past four games.
Nance won’t be competing with the best dunkers in the league this year, but it seems as though he’s more than willing to give it a shot in the future, via Holmes:
“This year might not be in the cards per [the training staff’s] request, but it’s still something I personally would love to do in the near future. Next year, if [the NBA] wanted me, I would love to [do it].”
Although Nance won’t be in the Slam Dunk Contest this year, the rookie forward will likely be back on the floor for the Lakers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles will host the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center with Nance expected to be back in the starting lineup.
As Holmes mentioned, Nance has missed the last four games due to the knee issue. After practice on Monday, Coach Scott let it be known the rookie could return as early as Tuesday night and will be a starter once again if he’s able to play against the Mavericks.