The Los Angeles Lakers suffered through a lot of ups and downs last season finishing with the worst record in franchise history, but one of the brighter spots was the emergence of the high-flying Larry Nance Jr. throughout his rookie campaign.
What immediately stood out about Nance’s style of play was his immense athleticism that constantly resulted in rim-shaking dunks game after game. Not only did it make him a fan favorite in, but it also put him up for discussion to be a participant in last year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest. However, Nance would be sidelined with a knee injury prior to All-Star weekend and would not participate.
Nance never ruled out participating in the future, and when asked about possibly entering his name in the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest by Alex Kennedy in a recent Basketball Insiders Podcast, it appears Lakers fans may finally be getting their wish:
“You know, it’s possible. It’s possible. I took this offseason to really get my knee healthy and I’ve got a pretty nice arsenal of dunks but if I can come up with a couple of things that can wow the crowd, I’ll definitely go with it to defend the family name.
Nance’s father, Larry Nance Sr., was the winner of the first ever NBA Slam Dunk Contest back in 1984, so he knows he’d definitely have some pressure were he to participate in the contest.
Nance also added that he still has a lot of time on his side and plans to involve his teammates in the creativity part of the process:
I’ve got some summer, some early preseason to throw some things together and really I’m picking my teammates’ brain on what they think might be pretty cool to see. We’ve got some good ideas, now it’s just to go try them and if I can get them down, I think it’s possible to see another Laker in the dunk contest.
Many called last year’s dunk contest, which featured an unbelievable showdown between Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, the best ever. If both were to return, Nance would have some serious competition if he hopes to walk away with the trophy.
In the end, however, if the dunk contest were to feature Nance, Gordon, and LaVine the real winners would be the fans.