Forget about Blake Griffin's power alley-oop dunks and LeBron James' recent domination of the dunking game. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers pulled off a reverse 360 windmill dunk for the ages on Saturday night.
Only two years ago, Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George, then a relatively unknown, had to make his case to the NBA to participate in the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in Orlando.
Oh, how times have changed.
Saturday night, George said that he declined an invitation by the
league to compete in this year's Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans.
Although George —who made his first All-Star appearance as a player
last year — has not completely closed the door on the possibility, he
confirmed that he likely will not participate in other All-Star weekend
events such as the Skills Contest and will not make a return appearance
to the 3-point Shootout.
Now certified as an in-demand NBA
celebrity, George ranks second in the Eastern Conference in All-Star
votes and will undoubtedly start in the game held on Feb. 17. George
explained that he would rather take a respite and try to limit his
schedule as much as possible.
"Exactly, I don't want to add to it
by doing extra stuff," George said, responding to a comment that rest
rarely happens during hectic All-Star weekends.
Besides the break,
George may still carry ill feelings about his previous Slam Dunk
experience. After returning from the 2012 All-Star weekend, George told
The Indianapolis Star: "(Not to) take nothing away from the dunk
contest, (but) it was a joke. I guess whoever had the biggest celebrity
involved in their dunk was going to be the winner. I guess I should have
tried to reach out to some people."