The L.A. Lakers have amassed a nice young core chock-full of potential after tanking for the past few seasons, and one man who has quietly risen as a gem of the bunch is power forward Larry Nance Jr.
Picked 27th in the 2015 draft, he was expected to take a backseat to Julius Randle at the four spot at the Staples Center, who was picked seventh in the 2014 draft class.
However, Nance impressed with his powerful athleticism and penchant for rim-shaking dunks. Unfortunately, when the All-Star weekend rolled around last February, Nance was sidelined with a knee injury and was unable to compete in any rookie games or indeed, dunk contests.
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However, the 23-year-old told Alex Kennedy in a recent Basketball Insiders podcast that it is something he has got his sights set on in the future.
“You know, it’s possible," Nance said. "It’s possible. I took this offseason to really get my knee healthy and I’ve got a pretty nice arsenal of dunks but if I can come up with a couple of things that can wow the crowd, I’ll definitely go with it to defend the family name."
Nance Jr is referring to his father, Larry Nance Sr, who was the winner of the first ever NBA Slam Dunk Contest back in 1984. If the Lakers No. seven was to go on and win the contest, they would be the first ever father and son combination to do so.
"I’ve got some summer, some early preseason to throw some things together and really I’m picking my teammates’ brain on what they think might be pretty cool to see. We’ve got some good ideas, now it’s just to go try them and if I can get them down, I think it’s possible to see another Laker in the dunk contest."
If Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine return for the dunk contest next year, Nance Jr. will have to come up with something pretty sensational to challenge them.
After the competition had started to feel stale for the past few years, the two youngsters put on, what many believe to be, the greatest dunk contest of all-time.
Could Nance Jr. rival those players?