Recently, Aaron Gordon made a diss track focused on Dwayne Wade and his judging of the last slam dunk competition. To put things into perspective, Aaron Gordon has been in the dunk contest multiple times. He has made many amazing dunks during the competition, but has never been able to win the elusive slam dunk trophy.
In this previous competition, not only did Gordon put on a show, but for his final dunk, he brought the tallest player in the NBA (Tacko Fall) and dunked over him! An impressive dunk, but in a highly controversial move, the judges placed Gordon in second place again.
While I can empathize with the fact that a player wasn’t given the proper award for his work, I believe that the scope of this issue is going a bit too far.
At the end of the day, it is only a slam dunk contest. Sure the competition is fun for fans, and it’s a nice award to win, but in the grand scheme of one’s legacy, it means nothing.
Upon examining every notable Slam Dunk winner, it is clear that all were proven players prior to winning the award. Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan were perennial All-Stars. Gordon on the other hand was having a season where he was not only taking a dip in his points scored, but he also had the worst FG percentage of his career with 43%.
All of his other stats either remained the same or the increase was so minimal it is not even worth mentioning. The dunk contest is like icing on a cake. Even if Gordon were to win the slam dunk contests on both occasions what would it mean for his career? All he would have is icing!
The fact that the media, fans and players are focused more on the dunk contest and not the fact that his team is the 8th seed is quite upsetting. Because ten years from now if Gordon is able to ascend to a top 10 player and lead his team to contention, then no one is going to care about the dunk contest.
Magic fans know that Aaron Gordon is a special player that could be the key to moving this team to the point of contenders. The problem is that he has had six seasons to make that jump and he still hasn’t. In the meantime, there are rookies like Ja Morant and Zion Williamson that have, in one year, elevated their teams to new stature.
The crazy part about this entire situation is that Gordon still has enough time to prove himself to be a legitimate star in this game. He clearly has all of the physical tools, and now all that is left is to utilize those tools in a way that both benefits himself and the team.
Too often I see him not willing to take the big shots or to force the issue of scoring. If this team is going to get better, it will be based on the improvement of his skills on and off the floor. This aspect is more important and more pressing than a dunk contest trophy