Two years ago it was classic dunks over Stuff the mascot. Last year it was the drone. This year, who knows what Aaron Gordon has planned?
According to multiple reports, Gordon has accepted an invitation to participate in the dunk contest during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo and Larry Nance Jr. along with Dennis Smith Jr. (as reported by @ShamsCharania) have accepted their invitations to the 2018 NBA Dunk Contest, a league source tells me.— Oliver Maroney (@OMaroneyNBA) January 23, 2018
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports says the NBA will officially announce the participants next week.
It would mark the third straight appearance for Gordon, who was runner-up in 2016 after an epic showdown with Zach LaVine, and then eliminated in the first round of the 2017 contest after a disappointing performance.
This year he will square off against former Magic teammate Victor Oladipo, who while still with Orlando in 2015, was runner-up to LaVine in the dunk contest. Also competing will be Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. and Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr.
Many argue Gordon was robbed of the win in 2016, after he and LaVine breathed new life into the dunk contest as they went dunk-for-dunk in a classic showdown.
Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon’s historic dunk contest pic.twitter.com/EYLRw9Bicr— NBA Inside Stuff (@NBAInside_Stuff) January 15, 2018
Gordon entered last year’s competition a heavy favorite and took an innovative approach. He attempted a between-the-legs dunk off a ball that had been dropped from a drone, but didn’t convert it until his fourth attempt.
Gordon was unable to convert his second dunk, a 360 through-the-legs attempt, and failed to make it to the final round. We still don’t know exactly what Gordon had planned for the later rounds of last year’s dunk contest, though he said he had a second dunk planned with the drone.
“I had two drone dunks,” Gordon told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel at the time. “That was just supposed to be the one that was just going to get me going. I like to do creative things. I like to do over-the-top things. I guess I did a little too much.”
Shortly after the 2017 dunk contest, Gordon said he would not participate in the 2018 competition.
Aaron Gordon tells me he won't compete in 2018 Dunk Contest. "This event takes a lot out of you when you approach it as seriously as I do."— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 19, 2017
Guess AG had a change of heart.
Let’s see if he brings the drone with him again this year.