Among everything that happens during All-Star Weekend, arguably nothing is more anticipated than the Slam Dunk Contest. Last year’s classic showdown between Minnesota’s Zach LaVine and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon made plenty of people dream of Los Angeles Lakers’ forward Larry Nance Jr. joining the fray.
Nance missed last year’s competition because he was dealing with a sore knee at the time and he simply wasn’t 100 percent. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, injury issues will prevent Nance from participating this year as well.
According to Baxter Holmes of ESPN, Nance won’t be in the slam dunk contest as he just recently returned from a bone bruise in his knee:
High-flying Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., the son of the league’s first dunk champion, will not be competing at the dunk contest during the Feb. 17-19 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, according to a league source.
Nance Jr., who has been vocal about his excitement to participate, received an invite earlier this season, the source said, but Nance’s plans were interrupted by a bone bruise in his left knee, which sidelined him for 16 games in December and January.
It is sad that once again Nance is unable to compete due to injury. He has been open about his desire to win a Slam Dunk Contest like his father did in 1984, but for two straight seasons a knee issue has popped up at the worst possible time.
Even had Nance been available, fans wouldn’t have gotten the ultimate matchup they were hoping for as even though Gordon will enter again after last season’s runner-up finish, LaVine, the two-time defending champion won’t enter for a chance to three-peat.
The Lakers will be represented during All-Star Weekend as D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram will be in the Rising Stars Challenge. Some have also called on Nick Young to be in the three-point shootout, but the field has yet to be named.