Zach LaVine is your 2016 NBA Verizon Slam Dunk Contest winner. On Saturday night in Toronto, Canada, LaVine was one of four participants in the contest. He along with Aaron Gordon, Andre Drummond and Will Barton, took flight trying to win the 32nd installment of the Dunk Contest and place their name among some of the greatest dunkers of all-time.
In the opening rounds, all players had a total two dunks they could perform with a maximum of three attempts per dunk. Personally, my favorite dunk of the first round was by Aaron Gordon. He used the Orlando Magic mascot, Stuff the Magic Dragon, riding a hoverboard as a prop, which he then jumped over for a between the legs slam. Likewise, LaVine awakened the crowd receiving a perfect score on his first dunk. The scores of the first round went as follows:
Aaron Gordon: 1st Dunk 45 2nd dunk 49 (Thanks Shaq)
Zach LaVine: 1st Dunk 50 2nd dunk 49 (Shaq Again)
Will Barton: 1st Dunk 44 2nd 30
Andre Drummond: 1st Dunk 36 2nd dunk 39
The highest scorers Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine advanced to the final round. Here is where the Dunk Contest was unofficially resurrected. LaVine and Gordon put on show using the free throw line and Stuff, respectively, to come up with dunks that have never before been done in the Dunk Contest. Who won? No one in this round. All the dunks were so spectacular that they ended up in a tie.
Zach LaVine: 1st Dunk 50 2nd dunk 50
Aaron Gordon: 1st Dunk 50 2nd dunk 50
The Sudden Death round was where we finally got our winner. LaVine went “Back to Back” and had the winning dunk with a between the legs slam from the free throw line. Still, Gordon impressed with an amazing double clutch dunk of his own.
While many feel Gordon got robbed, it was a great performance from both that could lead to an exciting rematch in 2017.