Aaron Gordon showed the world some dunks that had never before been seen at an NBA All-Star weekend dunk contest, but it took Zach LaVine a between-the-legs dunk from the free-throw line on the second tie-breaker of the night to seal his second consecutive crown at the NBA’s showcase Saturday evening event.
The contest immediately drew comparisons to the famed 1988 battle between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins. LaVine said afterwards that he felt this year’s contest held the edge over the ’88 classic.
“I just think that was the best contest,” LaVine said. “There was some stuff that’s never been done before. I don’t want to get into the greats — Mike, they’re in a different breath. If you really look at it as a whole, we were doing dunks that professional dunkers take four or five tries to do and we were doing it on the first try. It was ridiculous, man.”
Gordon had Toronto’s Air Canada Center buzzing after bringing in the Magic’s mascot, Stuff, and using him for three impressive dunks, including one in which he grabbed the ball and passed it underneath both(!) legs before throwing it down. He also grabbed the ball out of a spinning Stuff’s hand and threw down a huge 360 to open the final round.
LaVine admitted that he had prepared some extra dunks given the event went into the equivalent of two NBA overtimes.
I’m so happy I prepared some extras because usually you don’t need them,” LaVine said. “People usually aren’t that prepared to go up against you. But he deserved the title just as much as I did. He … did some crazy, ridiculous dunks. I’m just glad I got the last laugh.”
“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon added. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that.”
Feature Image via: USTAI