Orlando Magic star Aaron Gordon lost the NBA 2016 Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night to Zach LaVine. However, the judges’ decision was apparently not well-received by fans and critics on social media.
Each of the players that were selected to compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest proved that they deserved to be there. In addition to their respective performances and impressive dunks during the regular season, each of the competitors dropped jaws throughout the arena and in homes throughout the country with each successful attempt.
— NBA (@NBA) February 14, 2016
However, Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine made it clear that they were the two players to watch early on in the competition.
LaVine returned to the 2016 NBA Slam Dunk Contest with the hope and overall objective of defending his 2015 championship title.
20-year-old Aaron Gordon apparently came to the contest looking to make a name for himself in a big way while striving to swipe the trophy and recognition from the defending champion.
Keep in mind that, according to Yahoo! Sports, Gordon more than likely would have competed against LaVine in last year’s competition if it wasn’t for a left foot fracture that shut him down for a considerable amount of his rookie season in the NBA.
LaVine and Gordon went head-to-head round after round. When the smoke cleared, LaVine was named the winner. However, if you pay close attention to the reaction on social media, an overwhelming number of people feel that Aaron Gordon should have won instead.
A vast number of people rushed to Twitter to express their frustration and disappointment over the fact that Aaron Gordon did not leave that particular All-Star Weekend event as the NBA Slam Dunk Champion.
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) February 14, 2016
— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) February 14, 2016
Aaron Gordon got robbed. True or true?
— Devin Oliver (@The_Underdog5) February 14, 2016
— Manny Baidoo (@MannyBaidoo) February 14, 2016
Perhaps the most impressive dunk of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest happened when Aaron Gordon dunked over the Orlando Magic mascot. On paper, that vague description simply does not provide this epic dunk the respect it deserves.
Gordon did not just jump over the mascot and dunk the basketball in the hoop. He soared over the mascot with both of his legs together – like he was sitting down in a chair. As if that was not epic enough, Gordon looped the ball under his legs and back around again moments before slamming the ball into the hoop.
Footage of that epic dunk has been shared and circulated through social media thousands of times since it was first executed successfully Saturday night.
“He didn’t even have a trampoline or anything?”
– My daughter Sarah upon seeing Aaron Gordon’s dunkhttps://t.co/VNpPRqLl75
— Jason Romano (@JasonRomano) February 14, 2016
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 14, 2016
Photos that captured Aaron’s mid-air flight moment have even been turned into hilarious memes on Twitter, as well.
— Dave Miller (@coachdavemiller) February 14, 2016
Chances are that if you did not know Aaron Gordon before Saturday’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest, you will remember him forever now.
Keep in mind that (like most competitions where voting judges are involved) there will always be a disagreement or debate about who should have won or lost. Both Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon delivered amazing, jaw-dropping performances Saturday night, generating a lot of exposure, buzz and great press for the NBA All-Star Weekend overall.
[Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]