Aaron Gordon is officially done with dunk contests, and if many fans have their way, Dwyane Wade will also be done judging dunk contests.
In what could potentially be deemed the greatest and most exciting Slam Dunk Contest of recent memory, Gordon and eventual winner, Miami Heat‘s Derrick Jones Jr., went back and forth trading perfect scores on numerous occasions… Until they didn’t.
Recording artist Common, who was part of the five-person judging panel for the contest told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that “We thought it was going to be tied. We were like, ‘This is a tie!” Common continued, “but somebody didn’t do it right, I don’t know who it is.”
These comments came on the heels of Gordon receiving a score of just 47 on his final dunk of the night, despiting leaping over Boston Celtics’ big man Tacko Fall, who checks in at 7’5”.
Many have pointed towards former NBA great, Dwyane Wade, as the main culprit towards the outcome of the contest, mostly due to his Miami Heat ties. Wade has since responded to his critics.
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Wade Responds to Haters in Instagram Post
“It took nine rounds. I mean, it wasn’t biased,” Wade said in an interview with Complex following the controversial-yet-electric dunk contest. “I wasn’t the only one who gave him a nine, let’s talk about that. There was three people that gave a nine. But people are going to talk. Aaron Gordon is not going to lose any sleep about not winning a dunk contest. He’s one of our better NBA players and one of the young stars in this league. But it was entertainment, and at the end of the day, as judges, we had to come up with a winner. It was unfortunate, but we had to.”
Wade has since doubled down on his comments regarding his viewpoint on the conclusion of the contest, taking to his Instagram to poke fun at the fact that he wasn’t “the only judge to give out a 9.”
Wade has been the judge to receive the most flak for his score, but he does make a point. Wade was indeed joined by both NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman in handing out 9’s to Gordon for his final dunk of the night.
NBA Would Not Have Allowed a Tie
Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker, another judge on the panel, confirmed Common’s original sentiment that the panel had fully intended for the second dunk-off to result in a tie.
Ultimately, Wade, amongst others, had different ideas. It may have also been for the best. As The AP’s Tim Reynolds has since reported that the league would have not permitted a tie, and would have shut the contest down and forced the panel of judges to vote on a winner. No matter how much LeBron James may have disapproved of such a decision.
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