Vince Carter: NBA offered him, LeBron, Kobe, Tracy McGrady $1M each to do Slam Dunk Contest

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Former Toronto Raptors star Vince Carter alleges that the NBA once offered financial incentives to some players, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, to try to convince them to partake in the Slam Dunk Contest.

Carter is widely regarded as one of the more explosive dunkers in the history of the league, but he brought much more to the table than entertaining athleticism. He earned eight All-Star nods during his NBA career, which spanned a whopping 22 seasons.

Plus, he averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game on 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 37.1 percent shooting from 3-point range across 1,541 total regular-season games played in the NBA.

Carter, now 47, won the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest back when he was a member of the Raptors and put on arguably one of the most captivating performances in the history of the event. He competed against McGrady, who was his teammate at the time.

Bryant won a Slam Dunk Contest back in 1997, when he was in his rookie season with the Lakers. Ray Allen — who was also selected in the 1996 NBA Draft — and current Lakers head coach Darvin Ham were also participants in the contest.

James — whose NBA career is still going strong — has never competed in the Slam Dunk Contest.

Folks seemed to have mixed feelings about the way this year’s NBA All-Star festivities went. Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown participated in the Slam Dunk Contest to give the event some star power, but he finished in second place behind Mac McClung, who won the contest for a second season in a row.

The Golden State Warriors — who employ one of the more recognizable players in the league today in Stephen Curry — will host the 2025 NBA All-Star Game and its accompanying festivities at Chase Center in San Francisco. It will be interesting to see if the league will decide to alter the format of the Slam Dunk Contest, given the event’s less-than-stellar reception this year.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.