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2017 NBA Dunk Contest Recap and Aaron Gordon’s Flop

Aaron Gordon's reaction to his dismal display at the dunk contest. But hey he almost won last year right?

In 2016, Aaron Gordon lost to Zach Lavine in an ultimate Dunk Contest display. LaVine and Gordon took the contest into overtime, putting up a number of perfect score dunks. Gordon had an arguably better dunk contest, but LaVine kept the creativity churning as the contest prevailed and Gordon fell in the end.

Hoping to finally claim the title, Gordon announced he would be participating in the 2017 Dunk Contest during the NBA All Star Weekend in New Orleans. Entering the contest as the favorite, fans across the league were excited to see what he came up with this year. Gordon is a prolific dunker in games, so in a dunk competition his creativity would surely put on a show…right?

Well let’s go over how the Orlando Magic Forward did. In his first attempt, Gordon wowed the crowd with his idea behind the dunk, a bounced alley oop coming from an Intel drone – yes that’s right, a remote controlled drone would be dropping the ball to him. In an effort to add to the display, he also attempted a between-the legs-windmill before slamming. Now on paper this whole routine sounds interesting, and if executed perfectly could absolutely be worthy of advancing to the next round… except he missed his first attempt, providing an additional awkward re-setup of the drone. And then he missed again, although he at least made an attempt. His final dunk attempt did go in, but he had to settle for 38 out of a possible 50 points. As the contest’s co-announcer, Shaquille O’Neal, said, “missed attempts affect the score dawg.” 

His second dunk left the fans even more upset, as the contest’s favorite couldn’t even salvage his performance with a second made dunk. “The object is to put the ball in that orange ring,” according to Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich. Gordon attempted a between-the-legs 360 reverse dunk, however he only made one of his six attempts all night.

Unfortunately the night was all hype. Gordon finished last, and the only other player we knew, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, was also eliminated after finishing third. Glenn Robinson III and Derrick Jones Jr battled in the finals of the Verizon Dunk Contest. Robinson is a bench player for the Pacers, while Jones Jr was just recently promoted to the NBA from the Sun’s D-League team. Obviously the night was over after Gordon and Jordan failed to advance.

Glenn Robinson III handily defeated Jones Jr in the finals, Aaron Gordon was all talk and no walk, the drone was the MVP of the night, and it is certain that the Vince Carters, Nate Robinsons, and Dwight Howards of the NBA Dunk Contests are a long ways behind us.

Check out Robinson III’s winning dunk below.


Connor Dolan
Connor is co-founder of First And Fan and head of all website operations. He's a die hard Boston sports fan with a passion for sports, media, and all things David Ortiz.