Aaron Gordon headlines field for All-Star dunk contest
Aaron Gordon has unfinished business in the All-Star dunk contest.
The skywalking Orlando Magic forward is one of the four selections for this year’s contest, to be held on Feb. 18 in New Orleans on All-Star Saturday night.
DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers, Glenn Robinson III of Indiana and Derrick Jones Jr. of Phoenix will also be in the dunk contest.
The field for All-Star Saturday’s 3-point contest was also released Thursday. Defending champion Klay Thompson of Golden State will face 2013 champion Kyrie Irving of Cleveland, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Houston’s Eric Gordon, Dallas’ Wesley Matthews, Portland’s CJ McCollum and Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry, who won the 3-point contest in 2015 and was runner-up to Thompson last year, is not competing in the event this year. Thompson will try to become the event’s first back-to-back winner since Jason Kapono in 2007 and 2008.
Gordon finished second to Minnesota’s Zach LaVine in a dunk contest for the ages last year. With LaVine opting not go for a third straight title this year, Gordon would likely be considered the favorite.
“He was one of those guys that elevated the competition,” Gordon said on TNT, which unveiled the picks Thursday night. “He was half the reason why it was so special.”
Jones Jr. would be the surprise selection. He’s only appeared in three NBA games, logging 10 1/2 minutes of playing time. And his only basket so far in the NBA isn’t a dunk — it was a layup against San Antonio on Dec. 15.
But dunk fans know that Jones Jr. may just steal the show.
“He has bounce,” Gordon said. “Oh my gosh, he has bounce.”
The field for the skills challenge, also part of All-Star Saturday, will be New York’s Kristaps Porzings, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Utah’s Gordon Hayward, Washington’s John Wall and Phoenix’s Devin Booker.