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LeBron James threatens to end pregame dunking

http://youtu.be/oCtteIregjU

Miami Heat star LeBron James has been throwing down contest-quality dunks during warmups, but criticism from fans for not entering the actual Slam Dunk Contest has him thinking about ending his pregame routine, reports ESPN.com's Michael Wallace.

The video above was tweeted by Heat owner Micky Arison to try to get fans to arrive earlier. The Heat have even started streaming the dunks on the team website, Wallace reports.

But James isn't sure it will continue.

"Maybe I should stop because it's making a lot of people mad about what I do," James told Wallace on Tuesday. "They're like, 'Well, if you can do it in warm-ups, why don't you [want to] be in the dunk contest?' Stop it.' "

RELATED: The 10 greatest Slam Dunk Contests | The 5 worst Slam Dunk Contests

Fans' frustration may be due to the weak performance at this year's Slam Dunk Contest. Toronto's Terrence Ross won despite making only four of his 10 attempts. James said in an interview for Nike Basketball that he nearly entered this year's contest.

“I was very close,” James said. “I was very close to getting into the dunk contest, man. For me, I’ve always been an in-game dunker, man. When you’ve got to be in the dunk contest, you’ve got to be creative, figure out ways to do something that no one has done in the dunk contest. I couldn’t figure that out. I couldn’t figure that out. I was entertained by being in the three-point contest, too.”

Cutting off his pregame dunks will likely only make fans push harder for a Slam Dunk Contest appearance next year.

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