Aaron Gordon is perhaps the most high-profile runner-up in the history of the Dunk Contest. Gordon has put forth two of the best efforts in the competition’s history but came up short both times — in 2016, Gordon battled against Zach LaVine, and in 2020, Gordon competed against Derrick Jones Jr. and lost. That second one, in particular, was pretty controversial, and led to Gordon expressing that he would never participate in the event again.
As it turns out, Gordon is open to doing the Dunk Contest again, but it comes on one condition. In an interview with Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated, Gordon doesn’t want Saturday night to be his only busy evening during All-Star weekend.
“If I’m in the All-Star Game, I’ll do the dunk contest,” Gordon told SI.
Gordon’s push to make the All-Star Game is warranted, as he has been a crucial piece for a Denver Nuggets squad that sits atop the Western Conference at this point in the campaign. Gordon is averaging 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 29.9 minutes per game this year and is connecting on a career-best 58.8 percent of his shots from the field and 37.6 percent of his attempts from three.
The Dunk Contest field is already shaping up to be awfully competitive this year, as high-flying rookie Shaedon Sharpe of the Portland Trail Blazers is a confirmed participant while reports indicate KJ Martin of the Houston Rockets and Mac McClung, the first G League participant in the event’s history, will also be in the event.