Aaron Gordon has more perfect dunks than Jordan but no slam dunk titles

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon should have one NBA slam dunk contest trophy. Perhaps two. But at least one. He has none. Though h...

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon should have one NBA slam dunk contest trophy.

Perhaps two.

But at least one.

He has none.

Though he has more 50-point, perfect score dunks (eight) than any player in NBA history – more than Michael Jordan, more than Zach LaVine – Gordon stands alone as  the league’s best dunker without a crown.

“Growing up as a little kid, that’s something I dreamed of – winning the NBA dunk contest trophy,” Gordon says in the opening to the documentary short “Mr. 50” that follows him through the 2020 event during All-Star Weekend in Chicago.

The genesis of the documentary began with the idea to give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his weekend.

“But it turned into something more,” Gordon said. “My friend and filmmaker Aaron Chapman chopped it up in a way that I had never seen before. It was much more artistic, much more poetic and raw.

“The message I wanted to get across is to conquer your fears and be satisfied in your actions more than the outcome.”

Gordon must believe in that message because the outcome of the 2020 dunk contest was not in his favor. The argument can be made that it should have been.

He isn’t participating in this year’s dunk contest (Sunday, TNT) and is unlikely to participate in another one. This years abridged version of the event, which will take place during halftime of the All-Star Game on Sunday, will feature Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simmons, Pacers guard Cassius Stanley and Knicks rookie Obi Toppin.

Gordon lost to LaVine in 2016 in one of the greatest dunk contests with the two players combining for six consecutive 50-point dunks in Toronto. The 2016 duel revived the event that turned stagnant.

His desire to win the event prompted him to participate last season, and he didn’t disappoint. Gordon crafted five perfect scores but lost to Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. in another high-flying spectacle that had fans and players engaged.

But the contest had its rules altered and saw suspicious judging, especially from Jones’ former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade. The judges claim they were trying to orchestrate a tie (which isn’t allowed anyway) and Wade went rogue.

Three of the iconic dunk contest slams of the past decade belong to Gordon – floating in a sitting position eight feet off the floor and over the Magic mascot in 2016 and the off the side of the backboard twirling 360 slam and the leap of 7-foot-5 Tacko Fall last season.

“That’s not a 50, that’s a 70,” Giannis Antetokounmpo said after Gordon soared over Fall.

When Magic forward Aaron Gordon finished a dunk over Boston's Taco Fall in the 2020 NBA slam dunk contest, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo said,

But the dunk only registered a 47 from the five judges after they had given Jones a 48 on his final dunk with Wade giving Jones a 10. All-Stars watching courtside were stunned Gordon didn’t win. So was Gordon.

In the moment a year ago, Gordon said, “I feel like I should have two trophies, you know what I mean?”

Gordon, who has a podcast called “Quest for Enlightenment” and keeps a philosophical approach to life and basketball, is responsible for restoring thrill and creativity to the event.

It’s clear he loves the dunk as a performance. He remembers watching the event with his dad.

“I see art in life,” Gordon says in the documentary. “Basketball is poetry in motion. The slam dunk, it’s not only beautiful personification of grace and athleticism, but it is a tenacious action.”

Gordon could be bitter about the results. “I don’t harbor any bad or negative feelings,” he said.

He remains a fan of the event and is worried his experience –  perfect scores, no trophy – may prevent others from participating.

“I have some fears that I ruined the dunk contest, that people aren’t going to want to do it anymore,” Gordon said. “I hope that people see ‘Mr. 50’ and are inspired and continue to elevate that dunk contest because there are still dunks that haven’t been done. I’m not going to do them, but I hope somebody comes in and does them. It’s a great event. It’s beautiful for the game.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Aaron Gordon has more perfect dunks than Jordan but no slam dunk titles
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