NBA: Kobe Bryant takes a pass on slam dunk contest
By TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND — Kobe Bryant is taking a pass on the slam dunk contest, no matter what Shaquille O’Neal has in mind.
Bryant nearly burst out laughing when asked Thursday for his reaction to O’Neal’s idea that the Lakers superstar should participate in this year’s All-Star weekend dunk event along with LeBron James and Vince Carter.
O’Neal suggested the star-studded field as a way of luring James, who is skipping the dunkathon after initially saying he was in.
Bryant won the dunking crown when he was a rookie. He says players should not feel a responsibility toward entering the contest as a way of giving back to the league. James has been criticized for backing out.