New York Yankees star Aaron Judge won the 2017 Home Run Derby in impressive fashion Monday night at Marlins Park.
And, unsurprisingly, FS1 hot take artist Skip Bayless used Judge’s victory to find yet another way to criticize Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, baseball’s best player of the decade, has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Should we criticize him for that? No, of course not.
The bashing that James has taken for not competing in the Slam Dunk Contest has never made much sense. Sure, it would’ve been awesome had he participated early in his career, but not doing so certainly doesn’t make his Hall of Fame résumé any less impressive.
Besides, the Slam Dunk Contest should be a place for lesser-known stars to showcase their talents, and that’s what the event has represented for most of its history. Since 2001, the only superstars to win the Slam Dunk Contest are Dwight Howard (2009) and Blake Griffin (2011). Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan are the only Basketball Hall of Famers who’ve won the event. Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter likely will follow, but that’s still just four.
James is worthy of criticism in a few areas, but his unwillingness to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest is not one of them.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images