Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
Basketball fans everywhere, specifically fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves, were wondering all year if dynamic guard Zach Lavine would compete in the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest and defend his two-time title. Thursday morning, Lavine confirmed to reporters that he would not be participating in the contest, opting instead to rest and prepare for the team's playoff push.
"It's just a different mindset," Lavine said Thursday. "I feel like I've accomplished everything that I could in the dunk contest. There's no reason for me to go back and out-do myself."
Lavine was quick to add that a return to the contest in the future is not out of the question.
"I'll never say I won't ever do it again, but I'm focused on this year," he said. "We're getting close to being able to make the playoffs and we have that in our minds [as well as] getting the rest and focusing more on the game, that's a big thing."
If Lavine had competed, he could have become the first player in the history of the contest to win it three-consecutive years. Alas, that will not be the case though, as Lavine will instead enjoy the All-Star break and use that time to rest.
Lavine admitted that making the decision to forego the dunk contest wasn't an easy one, particularly because of the disappointment that fans are sure to feel over his absence, yet believes that the fans will support him no matter what.
They're a little mad, but you have to deal with that," Lavine said, speaking about the disappointed fans who wanted to see him win a third-straight dunk contest. "The fans are going to be with you or against you sometimes but I'm okay with that.
"I think they'll still like me at the end of the day," a laughing Lavine added.