After what many consider to be an appalling end to the event, Orlando Magic Aaron Gordon announced his retirement from the NBA Slam-Dunk Contest. Many think that he’s doing this in protest of the finish, but he clarified that the result of this competition had nothing to do with his decision.
Josh Robbins of The Athletic noted that the idea of retiring from the Slam Dunk Contest has long been in Gordon’s mind. He believes that it’s the right time to call it quits after the 2020 competition. The decision was made long ago, and the controversial finale had nothing to do with his decision-making process.
Aaron Gordon said during his post-contest press conference he was retiring from the dunk contest. But that shouldn't be interpreted as some kind of protest about tonight's result. In the weeks preceding the contest, Gordon said 2020 would be his final dunk contest.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) February 16, 2020
It’s easy to see why Aaron Gordon would not want to participate in another dunking contest once again. He’s given all he can give to the contest. Fans will forever cherish the unforgettable slams he put out on the night. His 360 windmill off the backboard will be the stuff of legend, and his impromptu slam over a 7’5″ Tacko Fall will forever be a talking point among fans.
Meanwhile, Derrick Jones Jr. is getting a lot of flak for winning the contest. He himself performed decently enough, but many feel that his dunks weren’t exciting enough for him to win the game. Moreover, his free-throw-line slam will be contended by disgruntled fans who think Aaron Gordon should have won.
Now that Aaron Gordon has announced his retirement from the game, he will most likely be focusing on helping the Magic make a deep playoff run. Whether he achieves that is a totally different matter, but his athleticism will definitely help Orlando win games.
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