Zach LaVine is unsure how to outdo himself in the NBA All-Star slam dunk contest.
The Timberwolves star said Thursday “I feel like I accomplished everything I could in the dunk contest. It would be hard for me to go back and outdo myself.”
LaVine is probably right. His high-flying dunks earned him the title as one of the greatest dunkers of all-time. That doesn’t mean fans wouldn’t enjoy watching him try.
However, the 21-year-old confirmed Thursday he would not defend his back-to-back titles in this year’s dunk contest. He will use the time to rest and focus on the Wolves’ improving playoff chances.
LaVine hinted he might return to the competition one day.
“I'm never saying I won't ever do it again, but I'm focused on this year," he said. "We're getting close to being able to make the playoffs and we have that in our mind. Getting the rest and just focusing more on just the game is the main thing."
In honor of LaVine’s back-to-back titles, we ranked his Top 5 dunks from his title runs:
1. LaVine won the 2016 contest by taking off a step inside the free-throw line and going between his legs, a move he had never attempted before.
2. LaVine jumped from the free-throw line and executed a windmill dunk.
3. LaVine scooped up ball and rotated 360 degrees in the air before throwing down the dunk.
4. LaVine went behind his back for the reverse dunk.
5. LaVine grabbed the ball in the air and went between his legs while elevating (almost hitting his head on the rim) for a powerful reverse dunk in 2015.
Social media mourned LaVine’s decision to pass on this year’s dunk contest:
Zach LaVine dropped the mic on the dunk contest ����https://t.co/Kl6ZKuxyEY— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 27, 2017
We need someone to fund an offseason dunk rematch between Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon. Who wouldn't watch?! Name the place, I'll be there.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 25, 2017
KAT: LaVine's dunks are like paintings. Others can do them but no one has his grace— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) January 26, 2017
When Zach LaVine turns down the dunk contest pic.twitter.com/5CCdmgttCd— Sports Pleaze (@thespleaze) January 25, 2017
Zach LaVine not participating in the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest. pic.twitter.com/jVFNdNolfX— Steve McPherson (@steventurous) January 25, 2017
@MikeAScotto Well that competition just got a lot less entertaining.— Sean Murphy (@Murphs56) January 25, 2017