NEW YORK — The Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon, last year’s runner-up, and NBA All-Star DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers will take flight in the 2017 Verizon Slam Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Gordon and Jordan are joined in the four-player field by Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns and Glenn Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers.
Verizon Slam Dunk is part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which will be televised by TNT at 8 p.m. ET and will also be available on the Watch TNT App and on TNT Overtime. In addition, the event will be broadcast on ESPN Radio, with audio also available on the ESPN app.
Gordon returns to Verizon Slam Dunk after a dazzling performance last year that included three consecutive perfect scores of 50. This season, the three-year veteran is averaging a career-high 11.4 points per game. The 6-9 forward has scored at least 20 points six times after recording five 20-point games in his first two seasons combined.
Jordan, a 2015-16 All-NBA First Team selection and a first-time All-Star in 2017, is tied for the NBA lead in rebounding (13.8 rpg) and paces the league in field goal percentage (69.6) for the fifth straight season. The 6-11 center also has a league-high 150 dunks in his ninth season.
Jones has split time this season between the Suns and their NBA Development League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns. The 6-7 rookie forward will become the first player to compete in the NBA Slam Dunk competition and play in the NBA D-League in the same season. Nicknamed “Airplane Mode” for his leaping ability, Jones won a national dunk contest for high school players in 2015 before playing one season at UNLV.
Robinson III has started 24 of his 46 games in his third NBA season, averaging 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds overall for the Pacers. The 6-6 guard/forward is the son of two-time NBA All-Star Glenn Robinson Jr., the first overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft.
Verizon Slam Dunk is a two-round event in which the four participants can perform any dunk they choose without time limits. The players have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30.
All four competitors get two dunks in the first round. The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks advance to the head-to-head final round. The player with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round is crowned the champion.
VERIZON SLAM DUNK WINNERS
2016 – Zach LaVine, Minnesota
2015 – Zach LaVine, Minnesota
2014 – John Wall, Washington
2013 – Terrence Ross, Toronto
2012 – Jeremy Evans, Utah
2011 – Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers
2010 – Nate Robinson, New York
2009 – Nate Robinson, New York
2008 – Dwight Howard, Orlando
2007 – Gerald Green, Boston
2006 – Nate Robinson, New York
2005 – Josh Smith, Atlanta
2004 – Fred Jones, Indiana
2003 – Jason Richardson, Golden State
2002 – Jason Richardson, Golden State
2001 – Desmond Mason, Seattle
2000 – Vince Carter, Toronto
1997 – Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
1996 – Brent Barry, LA Clippers
1995 – Harold Miner, Miami
1994 – Isiah Rider, Minnesota
1993 – Harold Miner, Miami
1992 – Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix
1991 – Dee Brown, Boston
1990 – Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1989 – Kenny Walker, New York
1988 – Michael Jordan, Chicago
1987 – Michael Jordan, Chicago
1986 – Spud Webb, Atlanta
1985 – Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1984 – Larry Nance, Phoenix
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, has a diverse workforce of 162,000 and generated nearly $132 billion in 2015 revenues. Verizon operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 113.7 million retail connections nationwide. The company also provides communications and entertainment services over mobile broadband and the nation’s premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.
About State Farm®
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 83 million policies and accounts – nearly 81 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 35 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.
About NBA All-Star 2017
NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. The 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Smoothie King Center, will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 15th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 32nd year of NBA All-Star coverage. Smoothie King Center will also host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, Feb. 17 and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 18. The NBA All-Star Practice, NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and NBA Development League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.