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Blake Griffin leaves door open for Slam Dunk Contest return

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19: Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks over a KIA during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during 2011 All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm on February 19, 2011 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Evan Gole/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE/Getty Images

Ten of the 13 Slam Dunk Contest champions since Vince Carter have defended their title the following year. One exception was Nate Robinson, who bowed out after winning back-to-back Dunk Contests for for his second and third titles in the event. Another was Fred Jones, who was injured.

The third? Blake Griffin.

Griffin won the 2011 Dunk Contest, his only appearance in the event, with an incredible show:

Since, Griffin has seen his profile rise both as a player and in-game dunker. But he hasn’t returned to the Dunk Contest.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Blake on his future in the dunk contest

“I haven’t retired officially. It isn’t something I’ll never, ever do again. But for right now, I try to take my rest when I can. And this year I really wanted that Saturday night rest. So not this year.”

Griffin will be 25 next season. That’s older than anyone in this year’s field and would put him in the 85th percentile of all Dunk Contest entrants ever by age.

I would be shocked if he ever competes again. All the reasons he’s not participating this year will be true next year and the year after and the year after…