In what had to be the greatest dunk contest in years, Aaron Gordon and Zach Lavine put on a show for fans in Toronto. With the victory, Lavine became the first player since Nate Robinson to win back-to-back titles.
The following is my live coverage of the events with video highlights.
Judges are introduced
Finally, a Spurs connection! Nine-time NBA allstar George "The Iceman" Gervin served on the dunk contests judging board, alongside technical Spur Tracy McGrady.
Opening the preliminary round, Will Barton entered surrounded by zombies, doing a Michael Jackson Thriller impersonation. The introduction had nothing to do with his dunk, opting for an in-between the legs reverse slam.
Judges score: 44
PtR score: 7
Andre Drummond vowed to bring a little bit of Detroit to Toronto. Immediately, he was rim checked on his first and second attempts. Alley-ooped to himself beneath the basket for a power dunk.
Judges score: 36
PtR score: 5
Detroit's Andre Drummond scores a 36 with his first yam https://t.co/19exEYF73p— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) February 14, 2016
Aaron Gordon opened with an intro film displaying a sensitive, beautiful, and upbeat family story. The complete opposite of the hype every other players vidoes, which resembled the hype before a PPV fight in which brawlers beat the living snot out of each other. Cluelessly optimistic, Gordon entered swinging a cane, to the song "Classic Man", snapping off his dress clothes to reveal his Orlando uniform. Gordon won the first round in my eyes, looping the ball between the legs and for a 360 degree, one-handed stuff.
Judges score: 45
PtR score: 9
After winning Rising Stars MVP, Zach Lavine was perennial favorite to be honored with Dunk Crown -- his second consecutive honor. He started off continuing his success from last season, earning a perfect score with a behind the back, reverse dunk.
Judges score: 50
PtR score: 8
Zach LaVine picks up where he left off https://t.co/JNlUtI63if— Alex Medina (@mrmedina) February 14, 2016
Andre Drummond ushered Steve Nash on the court and the former Phoenix PG showed off a potential second career of dribbling footwork with the rock. Numerous times, he attempted to boot it to Drummond for an alley-oop, but the entire set-up was a failure. Finally, with time waning, they managed the dunk. This is why Steve Nash came out of retirement? That's it?
Steve Nash assists Andre Drummond on his 2nd dunk attempt https://t.co/pAD3HuH3MV— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) February 14, 2016
Will Barton attempted several alley-oops, and was unable to get anything together. Not sure how the judges award points for a missed dunk. Difficulty or spirit?
Aaron Gordon brought out the Orlando Magic mascot on a hoverboard. After missing the first, Gordon propelled himself over the costumed dragon, spun the ball between his hand, and power-slammed with his right hand.
Score: 49 - after Shaq (bitter by Orlando not retiring his jersey) gave him a boneheaded 9 score, met by the protest of the crowd.
Andre Miller alley-ooped to Zach Lavine from the freethrow line, soaring on the second attempt. On further review, it was revealed that he straddled the line.
Yeah OK.https://t.co/jxFXel8v0e— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) February 14, 2016
After being robbed by Shaq, Aaron Gordon brought out the Stuff the Magic Dragon out again, who started rotating on the hoverboard in circles. With perfect timing, Gordon grabbed the rock for a 360 degree, cuffed one-hand slam. Arguably the best dunk in years.
Zach LaVine duplicated an earlier dunk, alley-ooping a 360 degree one-hand slam.
Gordon stole the contest, hopping over the mascot AGAIN, leaning towards the rim, rolling the ball beneath his legs for a seated one-armed dunk. Another of the best dunk I've ever seen, and knocked Kevin Hart's headset off in the stands.
Aaron Gordon https://t.co/UZ4pxw2ZJ9— Fill Werrell (@FillWerrell) February 14, 2016
Not one to vacate his crown, LaVine slammed a free-throw, windmill slam.
Great angle of the LaVine windmill https://t.co/oE52mQnevY— Basketball Forever® (@Bballforeverfb) February 14, 2016
Elfrid "Tarantula Head" Payton assisted on the feed from the back board, Gordon performing the reverse dunk on the lob.
First dunk of the dunk-off. https://t.co/g4UmWmRSdd— PHSports LiveScores (@LiveScoresPH) February 14, 2016
LaVine out-of-bounds alley-oop, between the legs backwards two-hands.
Gordon cocked behind his head tomahawk and performed the reverse slam, as if changing his mind mid-air. The judges were torn on the performance.
The dunk that won it for LaVine, soaring between the legs.
LaVine wins the dunk contest with this dunk! https://t.co/gGhfOmRYLq— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) February 14, 2016