When the league announced who would be competing in the slam dunk contest at halftime of the 2021 NBA All-Star game, the internet responded with a resounding cry of “who?” Well, it turns out that before they went with Anfernee Simons, Cassius Stanley and Obi Toppin, the NBA at least tried to get some real star power: Lakers guard Alex Caruso.
But as much as every single Lakers fan in the world would love to see Caruso participate in the dunk contest in a vacuum, Caruso decided to do what he does so well on offense: Make a smart pass.
According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, the Bald Eagle will not be flying to (or in) Atlanta:
Alex Caruso was among those who declined a spot in the slam dunk contest during this weekend’s All-Star Game, league sources said. Caruso said earlier this week that due to the short offseason he was “maybe looking forward to (the break) a little bit more” than normal. Asked about his plan for the break, he said “I’ll probably just play some golf with some buddies and leave it at that.”
On one hand, this sucks. I mean, just imagine Caruso dressed as the UPS guy a Lakers coach once though he was, delivering the ball straight to the hole in what would instantly be an all-time dunk contest moment. Sadly, we won’t get to see it (or at least not this year).
On the other hand, Caruso knows you don’t get a ring for the dunk contest, so instead of validating the NBA’s mid-pandemic exhibition game with his star power, he’s setting a good example by staying safer at home and resting his weary legs to get ready to help the Lakers defend their title. We stan a socially responsible and conscientious GOAT who is focused on what really matters.
But if you want a preview of what a Caruso dunk contest might have looked like, Big Balder Brand has you covered there, too. Just check out his new Manscaped ad, where he dunks from the 3-point line in a clear example of what he could have given the NBA if they’d made participating worth his time:
The new Alex Caruso manscaped ad is the greatest commercial I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/EbIg6Mv4ne— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 24, 2021
That ad is honestly better than a dunk contest win, and a more than fine consolation prize.