Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, who won the 2008 NBA Dunk Contest in New Orleans during All-Star Weekend, said he will not participate in this year’s event.

With All-Star Weekend returning to New Orleans on Jan. 14-16, Howard said the NBA asked if he would compete.

“I politely declined,” Howard said after the Rockets’ shoot-around Wednesday morning at New Orleans Arena in preparation for the game against the Pelicans.

Howard helped make the 2008 contest one of the most memorable in All-Star Game history when he donned a Superman outfit, complete with cape, and won the contest.

“I remember that the fans here were just great,” he said. “The whole All-Star Weekend was very enjoyable.”

Howard last participated in a dunk contest in 2009. Two seasons later, he said he was “retired for life” from the event.