Lakers News: Vince Carter Reveals NBA Tried To Elevate Dunk Contest With Kobe Bryant, LeBron James & Tracy McGrady
Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, Lakers, Nets
(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

After another NBA All-Star Weekend, the conversation remains the same as it has for years. The league needs to figure out a way to infuse life into what has become a relatively mundane weekend of events. The Dunk Contest has not had the same intrigue it did when players like Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter were winning it and the All-Star Game has become superstars like Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James just trying to avoid any major injury.

The NBA has been looking for how to make these events more exciting for quite some time, and they have tried several different things. They switched the All-Star Game format to be a schoolyard style captains draft, they turned the Rising Stars game into U.S. vs. international instead of rookies vs. sophomores and they tried adding G League talent into the Dunk Contest.

But Carter — one of the best Dunk Contest champions — revealed that there was a time that the NBA tried to make that event a star-studded one with a significant cash prize, via Run It Back on FanDuel TV:

Putting a $1 million prize and having Bryant, Carter, James and Tracy McGrady pit against one another could have been the most intriguing dunk contest of all time. A year isn’t stated, but it likely would have been in one of James’ first years in the league.

Getting one of the most hyped rookies of all time with two elite physical specimens in Carter and McGrady next to the three-time champ and previous Dunk Contest winner in Bryant would have made for a show. But Carter says not everyone wanted to do it, and James has famously been against the Dunk Contest for the entirety of his career, always saying he might participate but never actually doing so.

Maybe this type of incentive is what the league needs to try and bring back in order to make it an exciting event again. As it stands, the future of the contest looks less than promising.

Lakers’ LeBron James discusses difficulty of All-Star Game

Everyone involved in the NBA All-Star Game knows it’s in need of some type of rejuvenation. However, James argues why that may be difficult given the way the league has gone in recent years.

“I don’t know,” James said. “I think it’s something we need to figure out. Where is the median? This is what a lot of the games are starting to look like too. We wanted to get more pace into the games. We wanted to get more shots. We wanted the game to be more free flowing. We stopped letting the game — be freedom of movement, a lot of freedom of movement now. That’s what our games are like in the regular season now.”

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