By now, you already know.
Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon took the basketball world by storm on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre. There had to be a winner and it seemed like a shame only one could win. LaVine even suggested that there be two trophies.
But fortunately for LaVine, Timberwolves fans and Drake lyrics, the high-flier out of UCLA went back-to-back, winning his second straight Slam Dunk Contest.
And it wasn’t just a Slam Dunk Contest. It will probably be something those in attendance or those who watched it on television tell their children and their children’s children. When it comes to Slam Dunk Contests, it was one of the bests.
“Yeah, and I don't want to get into -- everybody's probably going to say something about Mike and all them and Dr. J,” LaVine said. “But in my personal opinion, man, we did some things that nobody else did."
We could go through dunk-by-dunk, but there’s no way we’d be doing them justice. There will be videos for that and you can bet our broadcast team is on that as I type this.
Until then, what you need to know about Saturday night’s dunk contest.
Will Barton and Andre Drummond were eliminated and did not qualify for the final round. Barton went out swinging, attempted a reverse, 360-dunk. Drummond, who already had the challenge of being so big, didn’t wow the crowd. Steve Nash tried to help him out with a soccer kick alley-oop, but the two just weren’t on the same page.
That led us into LaVine and Gordon. Easy enough.
Well, not exactly. The two put on a show. And for once, the millennials in the crowd probably put down their phones and stopped wondering if someone wast texting. It was all eyes on the court.
The final round was supposed to go two dunks per dunker. But both players hit 50 on their first two dunks. And their third. So, ummm. Now what? That’s exactly what the two thought. They had prepared, but not for six dunks…
“I was prepared for four. To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done,” LaVine said. “He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk.”
Gordon scored a 47 on his fourth dunk, while LaVine scored a 50, although they both could have easily been 50s.
In a league without LaVine, Gordon is probably the champion. He used his mascot, a hoverboard and crazy athleticism.
“You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it's like okay, that's a 50,” Gordon said. “Like I know we're going to have to dunk again.”
LaVine stuck to the old-school vibes, and just made everything look incredibly easy - something both Gordon and Barton praised him for earlier this week.
Now LaVine has two Slam Dunk titles. He’s 20 years old. And he just won the Rising Stars MVP on Friday night. So where does that put him in history?
He became the fourth player to repeat as champion. He’s the first player since Jason Richardson in 2002 to win both the Rising Stars MVP and the Dunk Contest.
“You know at such a young age, I feel like I'm on the right path,” LaVine said. “Just try to keep getting better and better and keep accomplishing things that are instilled in me and my goals.”
Will LaVine go for No. 3 next season? It’s probably too early to ask that, but if he does, he’ll have to come with a new bag of tricks. But if anyone can do it, it’s him.