March 2, 2013 / 4:28 AM / 6 years ago

Magic Johnson dangles $1 million carrot for LeBron dunks

Miami Heat's LeBron James (L) dribbles against Memphis Grizzlies' Quincy Pondexter (R) in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

(Reuters) - Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson will boost prize money for the NBA dunk contest from $100,000 to $1 million if LeBron James takes part, the five-times NBA champion said on Friday.

James has never competed in the showcase event held on all-star weekend but has been pounding down impressive dunks in warm ups to Heat games, prompting calls for his participation.

“Please, LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars,” former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Johnson said on ESPN’s pre-game telecast.

“A million dollars from Magic to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.”

Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom

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