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Monday, January 30, 2006
LeBron declines to dunk but accepts skills challenge

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NBA asked, and LeBron James said no.

 LeBron James
James

James said Monday he declined the NBA's request that he participate in the NBA's All-Star dunk contest. He will, however, be in the skills challenge.

"They didn't beg or plead, I just declined," he said before the Cavaliers' game against the Charlotte Bobcats. "They asked me to do something else, so I said yes."

Cleveland's All-Star forward has declined to participate in the dunk contest in all three of his seasons. He did, however, play on the sophomore team in last year's Rookie Challenge and was a starter for the East in the All-Star Game.

He skipped the dunk contest his rookie year, partially because he was upset at not being picked as a reserve for the Eastern Conference's All-Star team.

Meanwhile, James was named the Eastern Conference's player of the week on Monday after leading Cleveland to a 4-0 record since Jan. 24. He averaged 33.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.3 steals in the four victories.

It's the second time this season and fifth time in his career that James has won the conference's weekly honor. He was voted the East's top player in November.

The Cavaliers have won five straight since losing five in a row on a West Coast road trip. They entered Monday's game at Charlotte in second place in the Central Division.