NBA fans will be disappointed to see Zach LaVine absent from the 2017 Slam Dunk Contest. LaVine is out for the season after tearing his ACL in early February.
While the injury would have prevented LaVine from participating in the contest, he had previously announced he was not going to participate. LaVine spoke with the Twin Cities Pioneer Press about his decision.
“I feel like I’ve accomplished everything I could in the dunk contest. I’m never saying I won’t ever do it again, but I’m focused on this [season]. We’re getting close to being able to make the playoffs, and we have that on our mind. Getting the rest and I guess just focusing more on the game was a big thing,” LaVine told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
Here’s a clip of LaVine suffering the injury:
LaVine won back-to-back dunk titles in 2015 and 2016. His duel with Aaron Gordon in last year’s contest was one of the best contests in recent years.
According to FOX Sports, LaVine underwent successful surgery in Los Angeles to repair the torn ACL in his left knee. LaVine is expected to make a full recovery and the Timberwolves are hopeful he will be ready for the 2017-18 season.
Prior to the injury, LaVine was having one of the best statistical seasons of his career averaging 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
After the injury, he took to Instagram to ensure fans he will be back on the floor.
“Thanks everyone for all your support! Minor setback but I’ll be back stronger than before. If you know me, you know hard work will get me through this. Gonna be cheering for my guys the rest of the season. #Twolves,” LaVine wrote on Instagram.