Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 12/23/12

LeBron James is perhaps the best athlete in the NBA, and he’s one of the top dunkers when he wants to be. Fans have been clamoring for him to participate in the slam dunk contest ever since he entered the league in 2003. He toyed with us in 2009 when he said that he would participate in the 2010 competition, but then he backed out. The calls for him to participate even came from Kevin Durant, but James still turned it down. But now, James, who is 28, says he is too old to ever participate. “It’s over with. I’m getting too old,” James told FOX Sports Florida’s Chris Tomasson on Saturday. “It’s a taxing season. A lot of stars play a lot of the bulk of the minutes. So they got to protect their body and understand that they got to do what’s best for them. There were times when I wanted to do it. But I came into All-Star Weekend a few times banged up and I didn’t want to risk further injury.” Now that James has finally won a title, he’s no longer quite the hated “ringless” player he once was, but this will be one (minor) strike against him. Many players like Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard have grown their reputation and popularity by starring in the contest. Kobe Bryant did the dunk contest, and Michael Jordan was memorable in it. Sadly, we won’t ever have any memories of LeBron competing in it. It’s too bad he never gave us the memorable type of show we know he could have put on, but it’s not a big deal at this point. In the meantime, if we want to watch amazing LeBron dunks, we’ll have to just watch incredible highlights like this one.

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