Since being drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis has played in all but one NBA All-Star game, and that was during his rookie season. He’s also participated in the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend twice.
This year, Davis is expected to represent the Los Angeles Lakers in the All-Star game, which is being held in his hometown of Chicago. While that might be enough motivation for some star players to be more involved in the weekend’s many festivities, Davis has no interest in getting out of his comfort zone, and just outside of his comfort zone is the dunk contest.
“No. Never,” Davis said of doing the dunk contest at shootaround earlier this month.
“That’s not ... No. that’s not me. In-game dunker only. The stuff I see Dwight do and all these other guys, Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, I can’t do that. No.”
Davis is arguably the most athletic big man in the NBA, but it’s his combination of size mobility that makes him such a unique player, not his leaping ability. While Davis might not look out of place in the dunk contest, he’s right about there being a level he can’t get to, both literally and figuratively.
But that doesn’t mean we won’t see Davis involved with the dunk contest in some way. Davis said that he’s been trying to figure out how he can assist his Lakers teammate Dwight Howard, who will be participating in the contest for the fourth time.
“I might go out there and help him with something if he wants me to do something,” Davis said. “I actually thought about it when I heard he’s going to do it. But me actually participating myself, probably won’t happen.”
Unless Vince Carter changes his mind about making his respective return to the dunk contest, Howard will likely be the oldest participant in the contest at 34 years old. The only other confirmed participant, Derrick Jones Jr., is 12 years younger than Howard.
Davis doesn’t think Howard’s age will be an issue, though, because he thinks Howard’s looked as youthful as he’s ever been this season.
“I think he just got a lot of joy with him again, being here,” Davis said. “The stuff he does in warmups and game time, it’s just something we want to see more of. Obviously he won before, and we’re excited for him to go back out there. Even some of the things he does in practice, he still has his bounce. He still can get off the floor. So if he wants my help, I’d be more than happy to help him.”
Howard will take the floor, with or without Davis, on Feb. 15 at 6 p.m. PST on TNT.