The #LetLarryDunk campaign may finally come to fruition. After missing out on dunk contests for the past few seasons due to injuries, Lakers’ big man Larry Nance, Jr. could be on his way to participating in the showcase event.
According to Yahoo’s Shams Charania, Nance is considered a “strong candidate” to be one of the participants for the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest to be held at Staples Center on February 16. The league is planning to officially release the contestants next week.
Charania reports that Mavs’ rookie Dennis Smith, Jr. as well as former dunk contest participants Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon have already accepted their invitations.
Smith has denied those reports and Nance sent a cryptic tweet after one report that he would indeed be a dunk contest participant:
Sorry guys but I have NOT been officially invited to the slam dunk contest. As stated previously, i would be honored to be apart of it.
— Dennis Smith Jr. (@Dennis1SmithJr) January 23, 2018
Don’t fall for #FakeNews… 🙄
— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) January 23, 2018
It’s unclear if the NBA had just not sent out invites prior to Charania’s report or if Smith, Jr. wanted to announce his inclusion in a different manner.
Nance has been in the running for the slam dunk contest since his career started but injuries at the wrong time have always limited his availability. This year, he is finally healthy enough to compete in the event that his father won in 1984.
The Lakers will likely not have any All-Stars this year but will be well-represented at the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend by young players competing in other events in front of their home crowd at Staples Center.