Durant won't participate in dunk event
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant doesn't think he's enough of a high flyer to compete in the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest, so he turned down the chance.
Durant wrote Friday on his blog that he doesn't consider himself a contest dunker and that he doesn't "even do any good dunks in games." The Oklahoma City Thunder forward wrote that he'd rather let the Rudy Gays and Dwight Howards show off in the contest than take up one of the spots.
"I don't jump high enough for those guys," Durant said Friday night before the Thunder hosted the Detroit Pistons. "Shannon Brown, LeBron [James], Rudy Gay, Dwight Howard, Nate Robinson, they're like all the way at the top of the mountain. I'm all the way at the bottom, trying to climb my way up."
Durant said his agent approached him a few days ago with the opportunity to participate in the dunk contest, but he decided to turn it down. He said he considers himself a "regular dunker."
"It was [hard] because they asked me about it," Durant said. "It is what it is. I'm sure other guys are more worthy than me. I'll be happy to watch."
"For me, I know that I didn't have a chance at winning," he added. "That was my issue."
Durant won the first H-O-R-S-E competition during All-Star weekend in February and said Friday that he hopes to defend that title in Dallas on Feb. 13. He isn't sure whether he'll get the chance.
"I guess they want me to defend my title in the H-O-R-S-E deal. As of now, I guess I am a part of it," Durant said.
"I'm just going to shoot regular shots this time. I almost lost trying to shoot trick shots," Durant said. "A couple of shots went my way that were prayers. We'll see. Hopefully I get the title again."
"I get nervous, man. I get nervous in front of crowds," said Durant, believing the All-Star Saturday events would be held at Dallas Cowboys Stadium instead of at the Mavericks' arena where they'll take place. The All-Star game will be played at the Cowboys' stadium.
After saying during last season's dunk contest that he hoped to compete in it this season, James has waffled and said earlier this month that he was only "50-50" on whether he wanted to participate.
"I think he was more all into it, very hyped that day. Everybody was. I was. I was like, `Man, I want to do the dunk contest.' [Teammate] Russell [Westbrook] was like, `Man, I wish I was in the dunk contest.'"
"Once you watch it up close live, you're like, `Man, I wish I was a part of that.' I feel where he's coming from. It's tough to say if you want to get in the dunk contest early because you never know how you'll feel after 50 games, 51 games. You don't want to risk anything."
Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks won last year's title, unseating Orlando's Dwight Howard.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press