Orlando Magic’s High Flyer Aaron Gordon Selected For 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest
By Josh Cohen, Orlando Magic // February 9, 2016
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – When Aaron Gordon was a standout high school prospect at Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, California, many observers suggested he would eventually win an NBA Slam Dunk Contest crown.
Well, that belief is now one step closer to becoming a reality.
On Thursday, Gordon was selected to join an impressive field of high flyers in the 2016 Verizon Slam Dunk competition at NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto. He will compete against reigning champion, Zach LaVine, All-Star center Andre Drummond and one of the league’s most improved players, Will Barton.
So, what can we expect from “Air Gordon?”
If any of his past dunk contests give us a clue, it’s going to be a special occasion. Gordon showcased a dazzling display of dunks at the 2013 McDonald’s All-American dunk contest, including a 360-degree between-the-legs thunderous slam.
Gordon also put on an exhibition at Arizona’s Red and Blue game dunk contest in 2013. He became the second consecutive freshman to win the competition.
And of course, Gordon has flushed home countless spectacular slams with the Magic, including this awe-inspiring putback dunk recently against the Celtics.
Last year at All-Star Weekend in Brooklyn, Victor Oladipo was part of the contest and he was spectacular. It’s where the nickname Mr. 540 was born after he completed a first-of-its-kind dunk.
However, it was LaVine and his out-of-this-world (more like jumping out of this world) artistry that propelled him to the title.
Gordon becomes the sixth Magic player in franchise history to take part in the NBA dunk contest. Otis Smith (1991), Nick Anderson (1992), Darrell Armstrong (1996), Dwight Howard (2007, 08, 09) and Oladipo (2015) are the others. Howard won the competition in 2008.
State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature three different events showcasing the NBA’s best and brightest stars. The evening begins with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, followed by the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and culminating with the Verizon Slam Dunk. TNT will televise NBA All-Star Saturday Night beginning at 8 p.m. ET, part of Turner Sports’ 31st year of All-Star coverage.