The Los Angeles Lakers have a couple of participants in the All-Star Weekend festivities as D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram participated in the Rising Stars Challenge, Nick Young will be in the Three-Point Contest, and even Metta World Peace and Lou Williams will be rapping as part of a talent showcase.
One player who many hoped would be part of the Slam Dunk Contest is Larry Nance Jr., but with him only recently recovering from a bone bruise in his knee, Nance had to decline the invitation.
Nance had openly spoken about wanting to compete, but according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, he isn’t bothered by missing it because he is focused solely on winning games:
“I’m cool with it. It doesn’t bother me at all,” Nance said before the Lakers played the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena. “My focus is one thing: I just want to win.”
Even with his mind on the team and winning games, Nance admitted that he does still want to compete in the dunk contest eventually:
“The dunk contest is something I want to do at some point,” Nance said. “It’s not this year, that’s cool. It wasn’t last year, that’s cool. Knock on wood, hopefully I have a long career and have a few years to choose when I want to do it.”
Nance isn’t the only one hoping he competes at some point as fans everywhere want to see what Nance can do on that stage. His ridiculous dunks over the likes of Brook Lopez and David West this season are arguably the best anyone has had this season.
The most important thing, however, as Nance has pointed is winning games and that being his main focus is the best thing. With his defensive intensity, nonstop effort, and high basketball IQ, Nance has been a big part of many Lakers wins this season and hopefully many more to come.