By Charles Williams
Back in February, NBA All-Star Weekend was making a lot of noise with all the events that took place in Chicago. Saturday, February 14th the dunk contest would stir up commotion about how the judges picked the wrong winner again. The contest included 2x Dunk champion Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers, Pat Connaughton of the Milwaukee Bucks, Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat, and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic. The battle between Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon were the talk of the night with their epic dunks, leaving the judges with a tough decision at the end. The results the judges gave surprised everyone by letting Derick Jones Jr. win by a slim margin. Everyone is now wondering if the NBA dunk contest rigged. There has to be another way to choose who wins the contest instead of letting a select group of NBA stars or celebrities choose for the people.
The dunk contest gets people out their seats with the stars jumping up towards the rim and slamming spectacular dunks. Dwight Howard and Pat Connaughton had some inspiring dunks, but they were not good enough to keep them in the later rounds. Aaron Gordon was back to his old ways doing between the legs and clearing people that were over six feet like they were the size of Kevin Hart. Derrick Jones Jr. was having fun doing dunks off the backboard with a windmill over people’s heads and stacking people up like dominoes to dunk over them like they were never there. The whole night was full of creativity and some jaw-dropping memories that people can look back on.
Jones Jr. was the underdog in the competition because he only completed two 50-point dunks compared to Gordon’s dunks all being 50’s. The judges made sure the scores were close to keep both of them in the race to prolong the contest and make the fun last as long as they could. The judges were Dwyane Wade, Candance Parker, Common, Chadwick Boseman, and Scottie Pippen. They were being fair all night but when it came down the final rounds, they made had some tough decisions to make. There could be a way to take the pressure off them and give it to the people. Let the people send votes via survey through an app and let them vote who should be crowned the dunk champion. This will bring in a better audience and let the people control the destiny of the player who dunked the best that night. This could excite future contestants to do the dunk contest because they know the fans will be voting for them.
The battle between Gordon and Jones was similar to the Zach Lavine and Gordon contest back in 2016. From windmills, off the backboard, over people’s heads, and between the legs every dunk stood out to the crowd. Gordon showed he was finally going to be crowned the dunk king after missing out in 2016, and 2017. The final round came around and everyone was waiting on the dunk of the night from Gordon. Bringing out 7’6 Foot Tacko Falls, everyone knew if he pulled this off, he could finally win. Using Falls as an obstacle, Gordon climbed up over the 7’6 foot giant and completed a two-hand slam dunk. Leaving Derrick jones up next and waiting for what he had up his sleeve for the whole world to see. Jones Jr. built a head of steam from half-court to the free-throw line and flew while wind-milling his way to an amazing dunk. The judges decided that Gordon’s dunk was a 47 and Jones Jr.’s dunk was a 49 making Jones Jr. the dunk champion. They sent Gordon home without any hardware for the third time since participating in the dunk contest. After the dunk contest, Gordon was interviewed about his loss.
According to “houseofhightlights”, Gordon said “I will not be participating in any Dunk Contest and this is my last one. Next year I will be trying to win the 3pt contest”. NBA players like Ja Morant and Zion Williamson might withhold from the contest if this continues to happen.
The dunk contest might take a hit the next couple of years after the judges stripped Gordon of his trophy once again. Now with the dunk contest being considered rigged, future competitors might not be as exciting as Gordon, Jones Jr, and Lavine. A survey vote could give players hope they will win the contest rather than the judgment of former players and celebrities. The NBA dunk contest just gained the excitement that it was missing and now it can be on the verge of vanishing again.