Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine Explain How They Came Up with Their Epic Dunks

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty)

Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine treated the world to perhaps the finest dunk contest of all time during NBA All-Star Weekend.

At least, it was the greatest slam-off ever in the opinion of LaVine.

"Man, I think so," the Minnesota Timberwolves guard told a GQ interviewer when asked whether this year's contest topped Vince Carter's epic victory in 2000. "There’s 12 dunks in there that probably go down in the top 50 dunks ever. It’s crazy."

Perhaps the best part of the contest and its aftermath is the respect each contestant has for the other. LaVine couldn't believe what Gordon was throwing down.

"The two that were tripping me out were when we went under both his legs over the mascot and then over the mascot between the legs," the explosive guard said. "Professional dunkers do that. He did it one time, one try. And he’s freakin’ 6’10” man, so for him to get up over a mascot on a little hoverboard? [laughs] That’s like 45 inches in the air plus vertical."

LaVine also said he got some help in the creativity department from Will Barton, who along with Andre Drummond didn't reach the final round.

"Will Barton, the other contestant, was like, 'You ever gone between the legs from the free throw line?' I was like, 'Nah, man, never tried that.' So I was walking up to Drake and I was only thinking about him holding it or him throwing it up to me, get the crowd into it, try to get a high score. And I was like, 'You know, man, I’m just gonna try to go between the legs.' I thought maybe it was going to be nasty."

Aaron Gordon told GQ he isn't all that disappointed he didn't win.

"I did six dunks that have never been done in the NBA dunk contest before," the Orlando Magic forward said. "Six. So I’m completely proud of myself. That was the ultimate goal. I just ended up not getting the trophy."

Gordon also explained how he arrived at what's already his signature dunk, jumping over Magic mascot Stuff and wrapping the ball under both legs while in a seated position and staring down at the rim.

"I was going to try to go under both my legs and reverse it on the other side," the second-year pro said. "But it just didn’t look very good. It didn’t look all that clean. And then I was going to try and do a Scorpion: you jump up, you reverse and you finish on the other side and come back (professional dunker Jordan Kilganon threw this one down during a timeout in the actual All-Star Game). It’s another dunk that just wasn't very clean. I knew I wanted to go under both my legs. And it kinda just came together. It took me awhile to get it. But once I got it the first time, I was like, 'Oh. That’s a wrap.'"

So, the big question: Will we see the pair go at it again next year?

"Quite possibly," Gordon said.

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