James will not participate in Saturday's contest

Updated: February 18, 2005, 6:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LeBron James barely held up in Thursday night's Cavs-Timberwolves game because of the flu, but he won't be participating in the Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Weekend because of an ankle injury.

LeBron James
Small Forward
Cleveland Cavaliers
Profile
2004-2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
47 25.3 7.2 7.7 .489 .747

James told reporters Friday in Denver that his ankle was not 100 percent.

"I don't have enough lift ... I want to rest it as much as I can," he said.

Beyond the contest, James' status for the Rookie-Challenge on Friday night (Rookie team vs. LeBron's Sophomore team), is undetermined. James has until Friday afternoon to commit to the Slam Dunk Contest for Saturday night.

Cavs coach Paul Silas appeared to be discouraging James from competing Saturday. James, who also has been battling the ankle for weeks, was voted as an Eastern Conference starter for the All-Star Game on Sunday.

"I'm not concerned about the All-Star Game," Silas said. "If you're ill, don't play. Don't push it if you're not feeling well."

James, who scored 26 points, did not address the media after the Cavs' 94-88 loss to the Timberwolves.

On Wednesday, the league announced the four participants in the contest: Hawks rookie Josh Smith, the Hornets' J.R. Smith and Chris Andersen, and the Suns' Amare Stoudemire.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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