CHICAGO – No, he’s not gonna do it, no matter the show you might have seen on social media.
— Josh J. (@JoshJBullsHoops) February 14, 2020
A friend of Zach LaVine, who on Twitter goes by “Josh J,” posted video of the Bulls’ guard trying some trick dunks at the Advocate Center on Friday morning. One of them included a 360 dunk attempt from the free throw line, and that had some speculating that the guard might try to enter the Slam Dunk Contest.
Unfortunately, Zach shot down that rumor on Saturday morning.
“It wasn’t even supposed to go rival, man,” said LaVine when asked about the video on Twitter. “I got mad at my friend, he was with me recording them. I was just messing around, trying to see what I still had and what I could do. But it was just in good fun.”
So there will be no shot at a three-peat for LaVine in that event, but a chance at some history still exists for the guard on Saturday night.
No player has ever won the Slam Dunk Contest and the Three-Point Contest over the course of a career, something LaVine will have the chance to do in his home arena. Eleven players have tried their hand at competing in both contests, including Bulls’ legend Michael Jordan, but no one has been able to get wins in each event.
LaVine twice won the Slam Dunk contest in 2015 and 2016, with the latter featuring a memorable dual with the Magic’s Aaron Gordon, but now he’s trying something different. This season the guard has already taken a career-high in three-pointers, 436, hitting 38.5 percent of them as he’s averaged 25.3 points per game for the Bulls.
He’ll be up against defending champion Joe Harris of the Nets, Devonte’ Graham of the Hornets, Davis Bertans of the Wizards, Buddy Hield of the Kings, Devin Booker of the Suns, Duncan Robinson of the Heat, and Trae Young of the Hawks.
While he’d make NBA history with a win, LaVine would also become just the third player to win the event in Bulls’ history. Craig Hodges famously won the contests in 1990, 1991, and 1992 and is just one of two players to win the event three times, joining Celtics legend Larry Bird. Steve Kerr also won the event during All-Star Weekend in Cleveland back in 1997.
“It would be great. There’s not a lot of guys that have competed in both contests,” said LaVine of the chance to make Bulls and NBA history at the event. “I feel like I have a chance to be able to win it, you know, is big and I take it serious.”
Even if it isn’t showcasing a skill that first made LaVine famous, and at times viral, in the NBA.