Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Defending NBA Slam Dunk champ Nate Robinson now says he’ll enter the 2010 Dunk Contest if LeBron James does.
“To be in that dunk contest with LeBron, I think that will be awesome,” the 5-foot-9 Robinson said before the Knicks faced Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
With the Knicks hoping LeBron will sign with them as a free agent next summer, maybe Robinson should bet James that he will have to sign with New York if Robinson beats him.
Asked if the two would have a wager on the contest, Robinson said: “I just want to win. Beating [James] would be better than anything.”
The 2010 Slam Dunk Contest will take place Feb. 13 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
After Robinson won the dunk contest last year in Phoenix, James said he would enter in 2010.
Minutes later, Robinson said he might be out.
“I might be,” Robinson said then, according to Jamie Turner of NBA.com. “I’ve been in it three times. They might be sick of seeing me.”
Now, Robinson is changing his tune, saying “It’s a definite” that he will enter this year “only if LeBron [does].”
“We’ll see,” Robinson added.
The Knicks improved to 3-2 in the preseason with a 106-91 victory over Maccabi. Robinson, making his second start of the preseason, led the Knicks with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting. He was 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. David Lee added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Wilson Chandler and Al Harrington scored 11 apiece…Former Knick Maciej Lampe led Maccabi with 19 points…Maccabi coach Pini Geshon refused to leave the court after he was ejected in the third quarter for notching his second technical foul of the game. The delay took eight minutes and involved a rabbi asking the NBA’s replacement refs to allow Geshon to remain…Next up for New York is Boston on Tuesday at the Garden. A day later, the Knicks travel to Newark to face the Nets at the Prudential Center…The regular season begins Oct. 28 at Miami.
**For more on the Knicks, read Tommy Dee on how important it is to make the playoffs if the Knicks are to land LeBron.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.