Ja Morant is more than capable of delivering a posterizing dunk and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is high on his list of targets.
Morant was asked by Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report who he’d like to dunk on most in the NBA and the 22-year-old star guard had clearly thought about it before.
“LeBron,” Morant answered. “I’d probably get that poster and, like, just put it in soon as you walk in my house, right? I’d probably have it all over the wall. Like just cause it’s LeBron.
“I remember watching when [Jayson] Tatum actually dunked on him,” Morant added. “I don’t know what I would have done in that moment. I could do a regular dunk and I’ll be screaming for about three or four seconds and be behind the play. So if I actually dunk on LeBron, I probably would get a tech.”
Even at 36, James is still not an easy target to dunk on. He remains a physical presence on the defensive end — when he puts his mind to it — and can still swat shots with the best of them. But anyone who does get the best of ‘Bron has a story to tell for life.
Ja Morant Says He Needs $1 Million to Compete in Dunk Contest
Morant would be must-see television in the dunk contest, but don’t expect to see the Grizzlies guard in it anytime soon. He told Rooks that he’d need $1 million to compete.
“I feel like now you just see so many crazy dunks in-game that when the dunk contest comes, you don’t appreciate the dunk as much,” Morant said, who also argued that the judging has been sub-par.
James has famously never competed in the dunk contest, which is something so many other superstars of his caliber — from Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan — have done in the past. James has always had the high-flying, power dunking ability, but he’s not the most creative dunker. And as he’s pointed out in the past, he has a lot more to lose than to gain from entering the contest.
“If I decided to do it then I would have to win,” James told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst in 2012 while with the Miami Heat. “Otherwise it would be a waste of my Saturday night.”
LeBron James ‘Slim’ Entering New Season
James is still producing at an MVP level when healthy and reshaped his body for this season. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka teased that James has “slimmed up” for this season, which could be a scary prospect for the rest of the NBA.
“I think the thing that stands out is his fitness level, and he’s slimmed up,” Pelinka said on a pre-camp videoconference call with reporters. “I think … we all know LeBron studies the greats and he adds things into his game and I think going into this stage of his career he’s made a decision to come back a little bit leaner and I think that’s going to translate in explosiveness and quickness.”
While some stars have faltered later in their career due to aging and injuries, last year’s 27 missed games were really beyond James’ control, with Hawks veteran Solomon Hill sliding into his leg on a freak play. Expect the “Washed King” to be more ready than ever to prove he and the “old” Lakers are a force to be reckoned with.