Wolves guard and two-time NBA All-Star dunk champ Zach LaVine spoke at Thursday's morning shoot about his decision not, to defend his dunk this time around next month in New Orleans.
"I feel like I've accomplished everything I could in the dunk test," he said before tonight's game against Indiana. "There's no reason to go back and out-do myself."
Third in the league in minutes played, LaVine said he wants to concentrate on getting his rest and concentrate on the games.
Asked about disappointing everyone who wants to see him dunk again, particularly against Orlando's Aaron Gordon, LaVine said, "They're a little mad, but fans are going to be with you or against you sometimes...I think they'll still like me at the end of the day."
He left open the possibility of participating in the three-point contest, if asked.
"That's a lot less wear and tear on your legs," he said.
When asked if LaVine's absence in the dunk contest opens the door for him to compete, teammates Andrew Wiggins let out a slow "No."
Karl-Anthony Towns said he hasn't decided if he'll defend his Skills Challenge title, either.
"I've got some time to decide," he said, "but not too much."
As you might imagine, Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau didn't sound this morning much like a guy who values dunk and skills contests.
"That stuff is great if it fits in," he said. "But if it doesn't fit in, prioritizing our team and winning is the most important thing and I think Zach will do that."
The Wolves have won three consecutive games and the Pacers have lost three straight.
Pacers guards Monta Ellis (sore ankle) and Aaron Brooks (sore knee) are both listed as probable for tonight's game, forward Kevin Seraphin (sore knee) is questionable and guard Rodney Stuckey (sore hamstring) is out,