Top five dunkers to never appear in ‘The NBA Slam Dunk Contest’

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest is the ideal opportunity for the league's most creative dunkers to show off their skills - but here's five stars who haven't graced the extravaganza.

The competition has lost some of its gloss in recent years. It used to be one of the most anticipated parts of the All-Star break with stars like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins competing.

With numerous NBA superstars not participating in the Slam Dunk extravaganza, we pick out the five best dunkers never to compete in the contest.

5. Ja Morant

Memphis Grizzlies' point guard Morant became an All-Star for the first time in 2022, two years after being named the Rookie of the Year.

The exciting youngster is likely to be a mainstay in that part of the All-Star weekend for years to come, but don't expect to see him compete in The NBA Slam Dunk Contest any time soon.

Morant is not a fan of the judging system, telling Bleacher Report "I don't think so", when asked if he will ever compete in the contest.

"Until then, I'll be watching and just sending my tweets out for the judging and stuff," Morant said.

Here's hoping that one day he comes around and competes, because he is ridiculously athletic and monstrous around the rim.

4. Shaquille O'Neal

As the most dominant NBA player of all time, it would have been great to see Shaq take on The NBA Slam Dunk Contest at some point in his incredible career.

Standing at 7'1", O'Neal dunked on anyone and everyone and was too much to handle in his prime.

As mentioned prior, The NBA Slam Dunk Contest has really fallen off in recent years and was a huge let down this year. Shaq was not impressed...

3) Derrick Rose

Rose in his prime was one of the most exciting and athletic players to ever grace the NBA. Everyone wonders what could have been had he not tore his ACL.

A Slam Dunk Contest appearance may have happened, but that is hardly going to be one of the first things he thinks about.

Rose was Morant before Morant, Russell Westbrook before Russell Westbrook. He was absolutely unstoppable for the Chicago Bulls, becoming the youngest MVP in NBA history at the age of 22.

His dunking ability would have been superb to see in the All-Star weekend contest.

2) Russell Westbrook

Westbrook is arguably the most explosive point guard in NBA history, and, at the age of 33, it is unlikely that he will make a Dunk Contest appearance before his retirement.

In 2009, fans voted in Rudy Fernandez instead of Westbrook after he tried to participate. What a shame.

When asked why he has never taken part in the contest, the Los Angeles Lakers guard responded: "I only dunk on people."

Fair enough.

1) LeBron James

In first place we have one of the greatest players in NBA history, and, to a lot of people, the greatest player of all time. James is the best athlete to play basketball. He can play all five positions expertly and doesn't have a single fault in his game.

LeBron's dunking ability is second to none and it is a massive shame that he has never appeared in the dunk contest.

At 37, it's not too late for King James to compete. Everyone wants to see it. And he will probably win despite turning 38 this year.

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