Aaron Gordon lost another epic dunk contest. And it was by a couple of inches – namely, the top of Tacko Fall’s head.
Derrick Jones Jr. finally got his long-awaited dunk contest title as an exclamation point to an scintillating All-Star Saturday Night, both for him and the Miami Heat. Jones and Gordon needed a dunk-off to decide a winner, Jones prevailing 48-47 in the one that determined who left with the trophy.
Gordon brushed against the back of Fall’s head, and that was enough to sway three of the judges – they gave 9s, and that combined with two 10s added to the final 47. Jones said he would have settled for another dunk-off round.
He clipped Tacko’s head when he did that dunk, so I knew they couldn’t have gave him a 50 for that one,” said Jones, who was in the dunk contest in 2017 as well. I would have respected it if they gave him another 48, so we can go again.
Thing is, it wasn’t clear if they would have dunked again had it still been tied after Gordon’s final attempt. The NBA was not going to permit co-champions, and there would have been a point – which they were possibly at – when judges would have had to vote and decide a winner.
Controversy reigned regardless. And much like 2016, when Gordon lost to Zach LaVine in one of the best dunk contests ever, the Magic forward – who set a dunk contest record with five perfect scores – left frustrated.
I feel like I should have two trophies,” Gordon said.
When Gordon the 7-foot-5 Fall to come out for his last dunk – Fall played college basketball in Orlando at UCF – it was the ultimate risk-reward moment.
Gordon, who wanted to jump over the slightly shorter-than-Fall Shaquille O’Neal but got that invitation declined, needed a 49 to win. But he didnt totally clear his very tall prop, and just like that Jones was the champion.
Tallest dude in the gym.” Gordon said. Jumping over somebody 7-5 and dunking it, it’s no easy feat. What’d I get, a 47? Come on, man. What are we doing?”
Jones lauded Gordon for trying a dunk over Fall.
If I would have thought of it earlier, I’d have did it,” Jones said.
The first round was full of props: Jones – celebrating his 23rd birthday – had a birthday cake and Adebayo on the court for his first dunk, Gordon went over Chicago native Chance The Rapper for a slam, Milwaukees Pat Connaughton leaped over Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo and kissed the ball off the glass before his second dunk, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dwight Howard brought back his Superman dunk from 11 years ago as well.
Jones Jr. and Gordon emerged as the two finalists. Gordon was perfect on every dunk until his last one. But in the end, Jones proved prophetic.
I said I would do it, Jones said.