“Back to Life”

What a night! (USATSI)

For the next week (or more), you’re going to see a million articles & videos about last night’s epic dunk contest. I urge you to read them ALL. Each person will have a different take on what may have been the best dunking showcase of all time.

There will be countless cliches like “something we’ve never seen before” sprawled across the blogosphere but it stills resonates since it’s the rare case where an overused sentiment is agreed upon by the masses.

Like a an unintentional fairy tale searching for the right narrative, Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon emerged to guide the way.

LaVine, the defending champ, looked as if he would coast to victory with an incredible behind-the-back (off the bounce) dunk to kick off his night. But when all seemed lost, Orlando’s “Air” Gordon countered by putting on a new age aerial act – using new technology.

Mirroring any classic, UnderDOG story, Gordon desperately needed a creative slam to ever so slightly release the stranglehold LaVine had over the crowd. Not only was he able to accomplish such a daunting feat, AG took full advantage of his opportunity and pulled a Kygo.

Gordon’s THREE “hoverboard” dunks were spectacular, including a jaw-dropping, under-the-butt-over-the-mascot slam aka Gordon’s official moment going from “unknown” to “household name.”


But yeah…LaVine jumped from the free throw line! THREE times and his final one (through the legs…) was enough to capture victory. After an epic final round and a dunk-off with more than a few bag of tricks, the mission was complete.

Gordon & LaVine absolutely captivated the attention of casual viewers in a way we haven’t seen before.

From non-hoops fans to die hards, everyone will continue to argue who should’ve won: LaVine or Gordon?

In a debate that will rage on for years to come, one thing is certain: the dunk contest was brought back to life…back from the nostalgic fantasy of years past.


-Jabari J.

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