Larry Nance Jr., son of former NBA star and All-Star Game dunk champion Larry Nance, will not participate in the 2016 dunk contest due to a recent knee injury.
Nance Jr. was drafted 27th overall in last year’s draft. He’s currently averaging 6 points and 5 rebounds in his rookie campaign. Larry Nance Jr. has always dreamed of being just like his dad, and the main goal to achieve that is winning the NBA dunk contest.
Larry Nance Sr. played for the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers during his career. He was known for his high-flying jams, but he was more than just a dunker. Nance Sr. averaged 17.1 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game over the course of his 14-year career. On January 28, 1984, the NBA held its first-ever dunk contest during the annual All-Star weekend.
Nance Sr. went up against some of the best dunkers in NBA history in that 1984 dunk contest, including Dr. J and Dominique Wilkins. Nance Sr. won the competition with this fantastic jam:
It has been reported that the league reached out to the younger Nance about participating in the 2016 dunk contest in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Nance discussed the topic with his team, the Los Angeles Lakers, and they decided he should sit out due to knee soreness he’s been experiencing as of late.
Regarding the NBA dunk contest and Nance’s recent knee problem, he had this to say:
“That’s something I’ve always wanted to do at some point. With the recent injury in my knee and everything, I don’t want to go against the training staff’s advice. This year might not be in the cards, per request, but it’s still something I personally would love to do in the near future. Next year, if the NBA wanted me, I’d love to. (Regarding the Lakers training staff) They do a terrific job of watching out for us, and I don’t want to irritate that or step on any toes or do anything that would be detrimental to my career. (Regarding his dunks) I’m still trying to come up with a solid arsenal. I’ve got a year to work on it.”
Larry Nance Sr. had a few words to say about his son:
“He can already do everything I did now. I don’t know what kind of old man stuff I can help him with. if he ever get to be invited to the slam dunk contest, I’m sure I’ll spend some nights awake trying to come up with some stuff. I could jump really well, but he’s just so much stronger, and he jumps so much easier than I did. I’ll give it to him. I had my day, and nothing makes me prouder, nothing makes me prouder, trust me, then if he just flat out out-dunks me.”
If Larry Nance Jr. ever wins the dunk contest, assuming he participates in it, he will become only the second Laker to win the popular event. The only Laker so far to win it? The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant. That’s some pretty good company to be included with for the former University of Wyoming star.