Magic Johnson heats up push to get LeBron James to dunk contest

 

lyanez@MiamiHerald.com

Magic Johnson is escalating his campaign to persuade Miami Heat’s LeBron James to enter the famed NBA annual Slam Dunk Contest next year.

The effort began last week when Johnson, on the air as an ESPN analyst for NBA Countdown, offered James $1 million to participate in the contest held during the All-Star Break.

The reason: Although King James can obviously dunk with the best of them — he does it routinely before every Heat home game at AmericanAirlines Arena — he has never taken his talents to the dunk contest, which this year lacked excitement.

"I'm going to put up a million dollars. A million dollars from Magic to LeBron," Johnson said. “Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner."

Johnson’s co-anchors and famous friends have added to the pot.

Then Tuesday night, Johnson launched a full-fledged social media campaign with the help of his 1.2 million Twitter followers.

“Anybody that wants to see @KingJames dunk! Retweet #GetLeBronToDunk,’’ Johnson tweeted.

Then he tweeted: “Any celebrities & personalities who wants to see @KingJames dunk! Retweet #GetLeBronToDunk.”

Then he appealed to “ all NBA, NFL, MLB &NHL players” to also tweet their support for his campaign.

Thousands of people retweeted.

“I don't do it for anyone besides our team," James told reporters after Johnson’s challenge.

Will James change his mind?

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