However, it’s not like Westbrook has always shunned the dunk contest. In fact, in 2009 as a rookie, he made this campaign video urging fans to vote him in as a contestant. This is truly awesome:
And maybe it’s the ultimate reason why he’s never participated since despite destroying numerous rims along the way. Westbrook lost in the fan vote to fellow rookie, Spaniard Rudy Fernandez. That’s right, Rudy Fernandez, who became the first international competitor ever in the dunk contest.
So Fernandez, who resumed his pro career in Spain in 2012, joined defending champion Dwight Howard, Nate Robinson, who ended up winning the title, and J.R. Smith in the 2009 dunk conteset.
Perhaps the fan vote defeat was all too much for the young, UCLA product. But at least now Westbrook has set a guideline for participation.