After receiving 50s on his first five dunks, Orlando’s Aaron Gordon got a 47 from the judges on his final attempt and settled for second place in a controversial finish to this year’s dunk contest. The score came on a dunk where he leaped over 7’5″ Celtics rookie Tacko Fall, and the result was reminiscent of the 2016 dunk contest where Gordon finished second to Zach LaVine.
Gordon thrilled the crowd with a series of memorable slams, but still finished behind Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr., who put on a show of his own. It’s being hailed as of the greatest dunk showdowns in the history of the contest, but it will likely be remembered for its unpopular finish.
TNT announcers Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller both criticized the judging when the final score was revealed, and a host of NBA reporters followed suit on Twitter.
“Call the cops! Aaron Gordon just got robbed! When you dunk over Tacko Fall that’s a 50!” tweeted Michael Scotto of Bleacher Report.
“Aaron Gordon has jumped over Stuff the Magic Dragon and Tacko Fall and he’s somehow 0 for 2,” added Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press. “Nobody has ever done more and gotten less.” (Twitter link)
The world record in the high jump is 7 ft 11.67 inches,” noted former NBA executive John Hollinger, who now writes for the Athletic. “Gordon jumped over a guy who is 7-6 in shoes, grabbed a basketball and dunked it.” (Twitter link)
Gordon was among those unhappy with the judging, telling reporters, including Fred Katz of The Athletic, “Jumping over someone who’s 7’5″, that’s no easy feat. … What’d I get? 47? C’mon, man. What’re we doing? … I don’t even know who gave me the 9s. I’m gonna find them.” (Twitter links)
Gordon also said he’s through with the dunk contest and may try the 3-point competition in the future. “It’s a wrap,” he said. “I feel like I should have two trophies. So it’s over for that.” (Twitter link)
We want to get your feedback. Did Gordon deserve to win? Should the judges have declared the contest a tie in recognition of the great dunks from both Gordon and Jones that sent the contest into overtime? Please leave your feedback in the space below.