The NBA Slam Dunk Contest took place on Saturday night during the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. This year, there are two well-known contestants and two unknowns vying for the top spot in the annual slam dunk competition.
Last year, Zach Lavine made a name for himself after winning two back-to-back slam dunk contests with some amazing, gravity-defying dunks. This year, Lavine will be watching from the sidelines, having just had ACL surgery. Due to Lavine’s absence, there was talk that maybe this would be Aaron Gordon’s year. After all, Gordon’s dunks were so good last year that he had to compete with Lavine in a dunk off in order to determine who would win the contest.
This year, Aaron Gordon is back and has a few formidable opponents. Actual All-Star and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is also going to compete this year, as well as two lesser-known NBA players Derrick Jones, Jr. and Glenn Robinson III.
DeAndre Jordan opened the Slam Dunk Contest with an underwhelming hop over DJ Khaled. The judges were unimpressed and gave him a total of 41 points.
Glenn Robinson III followed Jordan and stunned with an amazing leap over two men, one sitting on the other’s shoulders. The crowd reaction said it all and the judges quickly awarded the first perfect 50 point score.
Derrick Jones, Jr. followed and also used multiple people for his dunk. Instead of stacking them on top of each other, Jones jumped over four people lined up to land a solid dunk, but he missed it the first time and used one of his teammates to push off of when he did slam it home. The judges weren’t as impressed with this dunk as they were with Robinson’s and awarded nine points each for a total of 45.
Aaron Gordon decided to go hi-tech rather than sticking with the fundamentals and flew his ball in via drone in the most dramatic way. Unfortunately, it was way too much style and not enough substance when Gordon missed all three dunks and instantly the odds on favorite to win the Slam Dunk Contest was definitely not looking like the champ. Finally, on the fourth try, Gordon was able to successfully transfer the ball between his legs and dunk the basketball. The judges handed Gordon a mediocre 38 points.
Aaron Gordon was first up in the second round due to his first round low score. Gordon continued to underwhelm after missing every single dunk attempt. The judges handed out a combined total of 34 points and the former front-runner sat down looking pretty upset.
Deandre Jordan followed Gordon’s disappointing attempts with a first try between the legs dunk that would have scored higher if the dunk was cleaner. Jordan earned a respectable 43 points that could have kept him in the running, but he would need to do more if he wanted to win.
Derrick Jones, Jr. dropped a sick dunk off the side of the backboard that he put through his legs before stuffing the hoop. The judges couldn’t keep a straight face after that beauty and gave Jones 50 points, putting him in the finals no matter what.
Glenn Robinson III just had to drop the ball through the hoop in order to advance thanks to Aaron Gordon’s huge flub. So even when GRIII hit himself in the face during a very unsuccessful dab attempt, he still managed to pull 41 points and end Gordon’s hope to redeem himself for barely losing last year.
In the first round of the finals, Glenn Robinson III chose to hop over Paul George. At 6-foot-9 inches, that hop is pretty impressive and the judges offered up 41 points.
Derrick Jones, Jr. tried to repeat his previous dunk except with fewer people and missed all three shots. The judges gave him 37 points for the less-than-impressive miss. Jones had to follow right up with his second finals dunk and even though he was looking pretty tired, he was able to land a second attempt through his legs dunk from inside the free throw line. Jones was given 50 points and managed to keep himself in the competition.
— RotoRadar (@TheRotoRadar) February 19, 2017
Glenn Robinson III responded by bringing out Paul George, Boomer, the Pacers mascot, and a Pacemate, which he jumper over, clearing all three cleanly and then reversed the dunk, landing a clean shot on the first try. Only needing 44 points to win, Robinson earned another perfect 50 and won the trophy for the Verizon Slam Dunk Champion. When giving his speech accepting his huge trophy, Robinson said that his grandma said that people were sleeping on him and she was right.
2017 Dunk Contest CHAMP pic.twitter.com/Ho8j6nYfZ0
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) February 19, 2017
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]