The force has always seemed strong with Lonnie Walker IV. After a couple years of prodding, the Los Angeles Lakers guard revealed that he may be entering the NBA Slam Dunk Contest next year, feeling he is obligated to due to his Star Wars-themed nickname, “Skywalker.”
Walker revealed he is “highly considering” competing in the All-Star Weekend’s signature event while attending the Final Four matchup between his Miami basketball Hurricanes and the UConn Huskies, via ClutchPoints (originally Bleacher Report).
“I have no choice,” Walker joked (maybe) when analyst Robbie Hummel prodded him about his duty to live up to his epic moniker. Lakers fans and just dunk fanatics know the type of gravity-defying ability the 24-year-old possesses.
Lonnie Walker IV: “I was considering this year, but I’m highly considering next year to join the dunk contest.”
Robbie Hummel: “Because if you have a nickname like ‘Skywalker’—”
LW: “I have no choice.”
RH: “You have to do it.”
LW: “I would love to.”pic.twitter.com/NDpWy1o3pv
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 3, 2023
Earlier this season, He flashed his impressive combination of agility and power on a breakaway dunk versus the New Orleans Pelicans, per Lakers Lead. Unfortunately his unique athleticism has not translated to much playing time of late. Walker averaged 14 minutes of action per night during March and played just five minutes combined in LA’s last two games. The team’s active trade deadline brought in new faces who have cut significantly into his playing time.
PUT LONNIE WALKER IN THE DUNK CONTEST pic.twitter.com/qQhn6ruRmh
— Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) November 3, 2022
Walker IV signed a one-year contract with the Lakers ahead of this season and now seems likely to end up somewhere else. In 55 games, he is averaging 11. 8 points on a career-high 44.7 field goal percentage, while also shooting a respectable 36.3 percent from 3-point land. Walker is still young and could be on the cusp of a true breakthrough that sees him become a valued supporting piece on a team.
His in-game status notwithstanding, the former first-round draft pick would be an exciting addition to the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Star power is difficult for the event to obtain these days, but Walker’s inclusion would be further proof that it can still remain a spectacle as long as high-quality dunkers are front and center.
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