"He is personally responsible" - Stephen A Smith blames LeBron James for ruining this particular thing

LeBron James is held responsible by Stephen A. Smith for damaging the NBA's Dunk Contest, citing Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and others.

LeBron James is one of the best NBA players ever. (Image credits: twitter)
By Blesson Daniel | Feb 21, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Although the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend is over, talk about the events in Salt Lake City is still going on. Due to a lack of star power and unimpressive performances in recent years, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest has become a frequent target of criticism. Nevertheless, this past weekend, G Leaguer Mac McClung appeared to have given the All-Star Saturday Night main event a new lease of life. at least in the opinion of the majority. On Saturday, McClung rocked Vivint Arena by hitting three 50-point shots in a row to win the Slam Dunk Contest.

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Stephen A. Smith got a different take

Everyone, including Magic Johnson and Stephen Curry, insisted that McClung had rescued the Dunk Contest, but ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith felt otherwise about what he witnessed on Saturday. Smith wasn’t as enthusiastic when asked on “First Take” if he thought McClung had salvaged the Dunk Contest, blaming LeBron James for desecrating the formerly revered All-Star game.

“No, I think (McClung) was great. I think he deserves all the credit in the world. But he’s not going to divert our attention away from the big problem,” Smith began.

“The superstars are what NBA All-Star Weekend is supposed to be about but where were the superstars in the Slam Dunk Contest? We didn’t see any,” he continued.

“… We don’t say it enough. We’ve applauded LeBron James as the four-time champion, the four-time league MVP, 10 trips to the NBA Finals. I’ve got him on my Mt. Rushmore, No. 2 all-time. Incredible ambassador for the game of basketball. Incredible role model. Now the all-time leading scorer. All the superlatives we throw out there about LeBron James — absolutely well-deserved. I revere this man, we will miss him when he’s gone,” Smith stated as he teed up his point.

“But there is one blemish that should be on LeBron James’ career — he has ruined the Slam Dunk Contest. He is personally responsible.”

LeBron James has ruined the Slam Dunk contest

Smith went on to name athletes who competed in at least one Slam Dunk Contest during their Hall of Fame careers, including Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, and Tracy McGrady.

“LeBron ignored that obligation, he said, ‘no, I’m not doing it,'” Smith added. “Since he made that decision, we’ve seen year after year after year, the dissipation of stars participating in the Slam Dunk Contest.

“… It’s because of him that others felt it was OK to follow, and that’s why the Slam Dunk Contest is not what it used to be.”

Here, you can view Smith’s whole “First Take” tirade in its entirety.

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