Aaron Gordon finished second in the 2016 dunk contest, but that doesn’t nearly do justice to the absolute show he put on. Zach LaVine won for the second year in a row, and you can watch his highlights here.
Aaron Gordon 2016 Dunk Contest Highlights
Gordon’s first dunk was awfully similar to Will Barton’s first slam, but the Magic youngster got a point higher on his score: 45.
And he was just getting started. This was his probably his least impressive dunk of the night, but that’s not only a testament to his overall performance.
Gordon wasn’t quite ready to crown LaVine, who appeared to be pulling away early, as he went through the legs and over the mascot to complete the absurd dunk. And just a reminder: he’s 6-foot-8.
Much to the chagrin of the crowd, Shaq gave Gordon a 9, preventing him from receiving a perfect 50. Seriously. He gave this a 9:
Gordon stayed with the mascot-on-the-hoverboard theme, this time upping the ante. With the mascot spinning, Gordon grabbed the ball Statue-of-Liberty style and turned it into a super-smooth 360 scoop while holding his opposite hand behind his head, Karl Malone style.
It looked like it would be the best dunk of the night, until…
On a night that featured Gordon and LaVine going back and forth with 50 after 50, this was probably the most impressive dunk of the night. Not only was it an unreal feat of athleticism, it was something we’ve never seen before.
Here’s another amazing look:
You know, just sitting eight feet in the air.
Gordon brought in teammate Elfrid Payton for a little bit of help, and it resulted in yet another jaw-dropping slam. Another 50.
This is the dunk that stopped the 50 streak from Gordon and LaVine, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t impressive. Gordon brought the ball behind his head, back down to his knees and up again for the reverse throwdown.
Here’s another angle:
Gordon may not have won, but he had a very large part in resurrecting the dunk contest. He put on an unbelievable show, his mascot dunks won’t soon be forgotten, and really, he and LaVine were both winners on the night.
We’ll let his colleagues some it up:
If Gordon and LaVine could just keep dunking for the rest of the weekend, that’d be OK.
It’s easy to see why Gordon drew comparisons to Blake Griffin during his time at Arizona.
Standing at 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, he spends time at small forward and power forward, but he certainly doesn’t move like the latter. In just his second season, the 20-year-old is establishing himself as one of the most powerful, explosive leapers in the league.
It’s unsure if Gordon possesses the creativity and aerial mobility to go with that power to win a dunk contest, but being more of a power dunker certainly didn’t stop Griffin in 2011.
After Terrence Ross, John Wall and Zach LaVine took home the win the last three years, we’ll see if Gordon can return the award to the frontcourt.