We nearly had a CaruShow at the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest but, unfortunately, Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso turned down an invite to participate in the highly-anticipated theatrical skills showdown this weekend. The league had extended him an offer to throw down with some of the greatest dunkers on the rise but Caruso ultimately declined, revealing the reason why to Bill Oram of The Atlantic.

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One of the most popular players in the league -- not just on the Lakers -- Alex Caruso will not be showing off his bounce in Atlanta this weekend. According to the guard, who reportedly received over 371,000 votes to appear in the All-Star Game this year and finished eighth in fan voting for the Western Conference, he will be using the break to recoup and relax before the second half of the season starts up.

"Maybe looking forward to [the break] a little bit more," said the Bald Mamba when asked about his plans for his midseason time-off. "I’ll probably just play some golf with some buddies and leave it at that."

Fair enough. With the Lakers expected to make another deep run into the playoffs, Caruso should be finding all the time he can to rest and make sure his body is good to go on game night. While it would have been nice to see him compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, his performance during the season is more important to Lakers fans.

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Zion Williamson and Anthony Edwards also turned down invites to the Slam Dunk Contest this year. New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin, Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons, and Indiana Pacers guard Cassius Stanley are expected to be this year's participants.