As Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon went back and forth wowing Chicago’s United Center with forceful slams during Saturday night’s dunk contest, Gordon went for the dagger.
Jones and Gordon had each netted 50s in the final round and in the first dunk-off. The second tiebreaker saw Jones leap from just inside the foul line and complete a windmill jam.
Up next was Gordon, who went for the walk-off dunk with some help from 7-foot-5 Tacko Fall.
After a short discussion between Gordon and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, the Orlando Magic forward summoned Fall to the court to be a prop for his final dunk.
“I was just talking, all of a sudden I heard — I see them looking on my side. I was like ‘Oh, what are they trying to do?’” Gordon said. “And then everybody was just saying ‘Tacko, Tacko, Tacko, Tacko.’ I was like, all right.”
Gordon positioned Fall in front of the hoop with the ball above his head. With a running start, Gordon took the ball from Fall and leaped over him for a two-handed dunk.
Aaron Gordon lost the dunk contest by one point to Derrick Jones Jr. after jumping over Tacko Fall. pic.twitter.com/3nBarEXuwb
— ESPN (@espn) February 16, 2020
The United Center crowd loved the dunk, but it wasn’t enough for Gordon to win the the contest. The judges awarded him a 47, while Jones’s windmill slam earned him a 48 and gave him the crown.
“I was scared sh*tless,” Fall told MassLive’s John Karalis. “I told him ‘Aaron, I trust you. I trust you with my life right now.’ But he did it. He should have won. I think he got robbed.”
Gordon did not fully clear Fall, clipping the back of his head on his way up, which probably contributed to the low score. Gordon was not happy with the 47 and said that this was his last dunk contest.
“I did four straight 50s — five straight 50s,” Gordon said. “That’s over. It’s a wrap. Let’s go home. Four 50s in a row in an NBA dunk contest, it’s over. But I don’t know. Who’s running the show?… It’s a wrap, bro.”
Jones, a reserve guard from the Miami Heat, noted afterward that Gordon’s dunk over Fall was not clean.
“He clipped Tacko’s head, so they couldn’t give him a 50,” Jones said. “I expected them to give him a 48 so we could go again.”