LeBron James ultimately does whatever LeBron James wants to do. One thing fans have been pretty much begging King James to do, to no avail, is participate in the NBA’s annual Slam Dunk contest. Now Earvin “Magic” Johnson has gone on the record to say he’ll put up $1 million for James to enter the contest. There has always been discussion of why James keeps ducking the contest. But the talk reached a fever pitch after a video of James easily performing a between the legs dunk during pregame warm ups went viral. Johnson clearly feels strongly that James should take his skills to All-Star Saturday next year. ”I’ma put up a million dollars to get him into the contest,” said Magic during Friday‘s (March 1) ESPN pregame show. “A million dollars from Magic to LeBron, please get into the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you. A million to the winner. Bam, nuff said.” The milli is a bump in pay for whoever wins. According the NBA, the dunk contest winners earns $100,000 while the runner up gets $50,000. James is probably scared that he’d enter the contest, and God forbid, take an L. But hey, even Michael Jordan lost his first time out. The NBA Slam Dunk contest could use an All-Star caliber player, or two or three. Bet you already forgot the name of who won this year’s contest. Let us know if King James should take Magic up on his offer, or if you think the dunk contest doesn’t really matter, in the comments. Watch Magic put up the dough, and some of LeBron’s sick warm up dunks, in the video below.
Michael Jordan will be 50 years old on February 17 and the tributes are starting to roll in. Sports Illustrated has placed the NBA Hall of Famer on their latest cover.The cover photo is a pic of the famous free throw line dunk that won His Airness the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk contest with a big graphic of the number “50″ surrounding him. It’s the February 18 issue and coincidentally it is his 50th time Jordan is gracing the front of the sports magazine (“Convenient how the works,” reads the cover line). The cover story is written by Phil Taylor and chronicles MJ’s influence and there is also an oral history of the aforementioned dunk and a look at all the SI covers #23 has appeared on.ESPN’s Sportcenter recently hooked up a short documentary titled “Gotta Be The Shoes” that examines Jordan’s worldwide popularity, which continues to this day, and its connection to his Air Jordan signature sneakers.Peep some of our favorite Michael Jordan Sports Illustrated covers—no coincidence he’s usually rocking a crispy pair of classic Air Jordans (and even a pair of Converse)—in the gallery. Also, be sure to peep the Swimsuit Issue right here, too.