Nuggets Aaron Gordon is trying to use the dunk contest as leverage to become an NBA All-Star

Nuggets Aaron Gordon is trying to use the dunk contest as leverage to become an NBA All-Star

Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon is eager to make the All-Star Game for the first time in his life and is trying to use his ability as a dunker as leverage to get there. “If I’m in the All-Star Game,” Gordon said in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, “I’ll do the dunk contest.”

Gordon is a Slam Dunk Contest legend, despite never winning the event. He lost in controversial fashion to Zach LaVine in 2016 in one of the best editions of the event ever and then finished second again to Derrick Jones Jr. in 2020 in another modern classic. During his career in the Slam Dunk Contest, he has thrown an all-time record of eight perfect dunks – more than even Michael Jordan – and claimed in a song he released in 2020 that even NBA commissioner Adam Silver told him that he should have won. year.

Since Gordon’s last appearance, the Slam Dunk Contest has gone from bad to worse. In fact, it was so bad last year that many commentators wondered if it was time to scrap it for a while, just like the league did in the late 1990s. With less than a month to go until this year’s tournament, the field is still not complete and they had to call Mac McClung from the G Series to join already.

Gordon sees all of this just like we do, and knows that if he were to join it would be a huge coup for the league. If you have something that someone wants, you might as well try to get something back, so kudos to Gordon for trying to put some pressure on the league here. Unfortunately for him, it’s hard to imagine the league wanting to get into that kind of business, even as desperate as they are for an entertaining Slam Dunk Contest.

On actual merit, Gordon isn’t far off, but again, it’s hard to see it happening. Averaging 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game on 58.8 percent shooting from the field, while playing great defense, he is having one of the best seasons of his career and is a big factor in a strong first half the Nuggets that is. they are in first place in the Western Conference at 32-13.

Those don’t scream All-Star numbers, though, and there are only so many starting court spots to go around. LeBron James, Nikola Jokic and one of Anthony Davis or Zion Williamson will finish the top three in the fan vote and some combination figures to be on the starting front court. Then there are the likes of Paul George, Draymond Green, Jaren Jackson Jr., Lauri Markkanen and Domantas Sabonis to consider, as well as Kawhi Leonard despite his injuries.

Gordon is in the mix, but will likely tread very carefully again.

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