Unfortunately, NBA fans won’t be treated to Aaron Gordon’s third-straight dunk contest appearance.
After wowing the viewing audience in his 2016 runner-up performance against Zach LaVine and taking part in last year’s showcase in New Orleans, the Orlando Magic star won’t have a chance to redeem himself. Last year, he posted a 72 in the first round after earning a 38 on his first dunk and a 34 on his second, finishing last out of the four competitors and not even advancing to the final round.
Due to a strained hip flexor, Gordon missed Monday’s game against the Miami Heat and will also miss the next two games. According to John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com, Gordon will not be allowed to take part in the crowd-favorite All-Star Weekend competition due to that injury.
Since it seems like everyone in the NBA can throw down windmill dunks nowadays, there were many possible fill-ins for Gordon.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was quick to report that a talented rookie will take Gordon’s spot.
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz is having a terrific season. Averaging 19.7 points per game along with 3.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists ,he leads the Jazz in scoring and looks like a star in the making. He also leads all NBA rookies in the scoring column and has firmly put his name in the Rookie of the Year conversation.
Dazzling fans with a plethora of offensive moves, he has created a number of terrific dunk highlights along the way.
The 13th pick out of the University of Louisville already has such a dynamic offensive skill set that he was slated to take part in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge. Now, he will have to be replaced in that contest, according to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield will take his spot in that event.
When asked about what he will bring to the contest prior to his team’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, it was obvious that the rookie was excited.
Jazz coach Quinn Snyder was happy for Mitchell, but has one requirement for him: not to get injured.
When the contest participants were announced, some were surprised that Mitchell’s name wasn’t on the list. The following dunks speak for themselves:
Mitchell will join Larry Nance Jr., All-Star guard Victor Oladipo and fellow rookie Dennis Smith Jr. on All-Star Saturday’s marquee event. Judging by his in-game dunks, it appears as though he might not fall short in the creativity department.
If Mitchell and Smith advance to an all-rookie final, it could be the start of a new dunk contest rivalry that could last for a number of years.News Now - Sport News