Nate Robinson on the star-studded death at the Slam Dunk Contest: “No one wants to be a meme.”

Nate Robinson recently returned to the headlines for his poor physical condition, particularly his severe kidney problems that also force him on three dialysis treatments a week while waiting to find a donor. Interviewed by Dime Magazine, however, Robinson was also asked about the Slam Dunk Contest, something we can call him an expert in given his 4 appearances (including 3 wins, an NBA record).

The Slam Dunk Contest has lost a lot of popularity in recent years, probably being surpassed by the Three-point Contest. Partly because of an absence of ideas, partly because of an absence of stars. This year’s participants will include. Jaylen Brown, but this is the first time since 2018 that an All Star has competed in the dunk contest. Athletes in recent years have always been great jumpers, but in many cases unknowns: the defending champion, Mac McClung, counts 4 NBA games in 3 years.

According to Nate Robinson, the Internet is one of the reasons why superstars decide not to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest: “Nobody wants to be a meme, nobody wants to be embarrassed. When the internet started to spread, it became more difficult to participate. You can’t do anything stupid not to soil your career. If people were not so mean on social media, I think NBA stars would be more inclined to participate. Instead they can say whatever they want and post anything, players don’t want to lose and they don’t want to look like fools.”.

Robinson, just 178 centimeters tall (an official measurement that is probably also exaggerated) won the dunk contest in 2006, then lost it the following year. In 2009 and 2010 he returned among the participants, winning both times in the finals against Dwight Howard and DeMar DeRozan, respectively.

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