Kobe: No thanks on dunk contest

Updated: January 22, 2010, 11:12 AM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Kobe Bryant is taking a pass on the slam dunk contest, no matter what Shaquille O'Neal has in mind.

Bryant
Bryant

Bryant nearly burst out laughing Thursday when asked about O'Neal's idea that the Lakers superstar should appear in next month's All-Star weekend dunk event 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. Bryant would like to see the MVP take part.

"Responsibility? No," Bryant said following the Lakers' shootaround. "People want to see it, so it's good to do it at least one time in your career. It's fun."

The contest is Feb. 13 in Dallas, and Bryant has been giving tips to Los Angeles teammate Shannon Brown. Does Bryant think James would win?

"I think he would come in a close second behind Shannon Brown," he said.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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