There is no question that Saturday’s Slam Dunk contest was one of the greatest ever. Zach LaVine was the defending champion and one of the most exciting dunkers. No one expected to see Aaron Gordon put on the kind of show he did.
Now many people thought Gordon was robbed. I certainly thought he had the better dunks and should have won.
But based on the scoring system the NBA had, LaVine’s dunks were rightfully perfect 50s, just like Gordon’s in the final. But clearly, Gordon’s dunks were better if you listen to the commentators, particularly Kenny Smith.
There are five judges who each score a dunk, with 10 the highest.
So here’s a thought: For the finals, they should consider boxing’s professional scoring system.
Each round in boxing is scored 10-9, where you essentially have to consider a winner. You can have a 9-9 round if there is a point deduction. And if there’s a knockdown, you can score it 10-8, and so on for multiple knockdowns.
If you had that scoring, it’s pretty clear Gordon would have won. His 360, where he grabbed the ball from Stuff the Magic Dragon, was spectacular and much better than LaVine’s similar dunk, but without the degree of difficulty. And Gordon’s second dunk in the final, where he grabbed the ball of Stuff’s head and put the ball between both legs is one of those legendary dunks that will rank among the greatest of all time.
Now I don’t want to take anything away from LaVine. He is an amazing dunker. On this night, Gordon had the better dunks.
But it will make for a fun rematch for next year.
I will pitch this idea: Next year just have LaVine and Gordon.