Magic’s Aaron Gordon says he’s still ‘irritated’ and ‘frustrated’ about Slam Dunk Contest outcome

Days after the the debacle that was the very end of the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon told reporters that it’s time to move on, even though he is still unhappy with his second-place finish and the result will be talked about for a long time. (Yes, I am aware that these things are a little contradictory.)

“I definitely feel some type of way about it,” Gordon said on Wednesday, choosing his words carefully, per John Denton of the Magic’s official website. “I’m definitely kind of irritated a little bit and a little frustrated, as well.”

“But it’s OK, it’s really OK. “We’ve got to move on because it’s over now. I think it will be talked about for years and years and years, which is really cool. But at the same time, it’s over.”

Gordon also said that he will use the Dunk Contest disappointment as fuel for the rest of the season (sure, why not?) and that he wasn’t being serious when he said in its aftermath that his next goal was to compete in the 3-Point Contest (his real goals are to make the All-Star Game and then win a championship).

Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat won the competition on Saturday in Chicago, but Common, one of the judges, told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that this was a result of them failing to coordinate the scoring properly. The judges were trying to give Gordon a 48 on his last dunk and create a tie, “but somebody didn’t do it right,” Common said. Gordon was understandably salty about the 47 in his post-contest media availability, but told reporters in Orlando that the judges had a difficult job and “I really appreciate them.”

Gordon also suggested tweaks to the format: “Maybe make it out of 100 instead of out of 10. And then [have it be] an accumulation of all the points and not just an accumulation of that last round. [Add] all of your dunks together and whoever has the most points in the end wins. That makes the most sense.”

The bad news is that, even if the rules are changed, Gordon likely will never have a Dunk Contest trophy — he was on the record before Saturday evening that it would be his last appearance, and he reiterated that afterward. The good news is that he doesn’t need a trophy to be a Dunk Contest legend. His 2016 and 2020 performances will both go down in history, and he’s indisputably the best runner-up the event has ever seen. 

I’d still like to see a rematch between him and LaVine next year, though. And let’s get Jones and Zion Williamson in it, too, for that matter. 

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