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Simons Will Not Defend Slam Dunk Title

The in-form Portland guard will skip the All Star showcase to focus on the rest of the season.

2021 NBA All-Star - AT&T Slam Dunk Contest Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons will not defend his Slam Dunk title during this month’s All Star weekend, reports The Athletic’s Jason Quick.

The pending restricted free agent took out last year’s Slam Dunk title, beating out the New York Knicks’ Obi Toppin and Indiana Pacers’ Cassius Stanley.

Simons, who enjoyed a breakout January, said he’d ticked off the prestigious award and was now focused on the rest of the Blazers’ 2021-22 campaign.

The 22-year-old put up averages of 23.1 points and 6.7 assists in January, a significant improvement on his overall season numbers of 15.6 points and 3.7 assists.

According to Blazers team insider Casey Holdahl, there are no Blazers expected to compete in All Star weekend, which will be held at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

Six-time All Star Damian Lillard received the ninth-most Western Conference guards votes for this year’s exhibition game after opting for abdominal surgery last month.