Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. outlived Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon in an essential slam dunk challenge on Saturday that necessary two tiebreaker jams.
Be that as it may, the outcome was not without discussion, with at least two judges battling a while later that they wanted the second dunk-off to end in a tie and Gordon says he’s finished partaking in the challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend.
“We thought it was going to be tied. We were like, ‘This is a tie!'” one judge, hip-hop artist Common, told ESPN’s, Ramona Shelburne. “But somebody didn’t do it right. I don’t know who it is.”
Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker, another judge on the panel, affirmed that they had proposed for the second dunk-off to result in a tie.
It wasn’t clear if Jones and Gordon would have dunked again had it despite everything been tied after Gordon’s final attempt. The NBA was not going to allow co-champions, and there would have been a point – which they were perhaps at – when judges would have needed to vote and decide a winner.
Jones and Gordon each got ideal 50s in the final and the first dunk-off – setting up for the second tiebreaker. Jones took off from simply inside the foul line and threw down a windmill jam with his left hand, drawing a 48 from the board of five judges. Gordon, after a short discussion with Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, brought out 7-foot-5 Boston Celtics rookie Tacko Fall and took the ball from Fall’s hands while hopping over him while in transit to a thunderous dunk.
The jam was met with gasps from the United Center group, however, Gordon was awarded just a 47, giving the triumph to Jones.
Parker and Common each awarded Gordon a 10 for the dunk, with the other three judges – Dwyane Wade, Scottie Pippen, and Chadwick Boseman – each giving him a 9.
“I felt it was an even battle, and we, as judges, felt the scores should be even and they should just have a judge-off,” Common told Shelburne. “We had the cards. Put your card up for who had the best dunks.”
Gordon thoroughly considered his dunk Fall merited a higher score than he got.
“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?”
Gordon, who likewise lost an essential dunk challenge to Zach LaVine in 2016, said he was finished with the challenge.
“It’s a wrap, bro,” he said. “I feel like I should have two trophies.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was of the mind that Gordon and Jones each merited a trophy for their efforts.
Jones, after the challenge, thought the Gordon-Fall dunk wasn’t smooth, maybe sealing the deal for him.
“He clipped Tacko’s head, so they couldn’t give him a 50,” he said. “I expected them to give him a 48 so we could go again.”