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Magic’s Aaron Gordon explains why he’s never participating in the Slam Dunk Contest again

Magic, Aaron Gordon

Though he’s viewed as one of the NBA’s best rim rockers, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon says he won’t be participating in the Slam Dunk Contest ever again.

Gordon, who many believe was snubbed twice at the event, noted that he wants to hone in on the season itself instead. He says practicing for the Slam Dunk Contest was taking away from his ability to focus on reaching the playoffs:

“I don’t think I’m gonna do it again, just because I’ve only been to the playoffs one time and we got gentleman swept,” Gordon said on ESPN. “[The 2019 first-round series against Toronto] was the most exciting basketball I’ve ever played. That’s the focus, to be in the big games and to win for Orlando.

“It takes a lot of energy to do the Dunk Contest,” Gordon added. “It’s not like the 3-Point Contest, where you can just touch the ball, take it and shoot it. You gotta really practice. So yeah, I’m gonna shift my focus.”

Gordon, now 24 years of age, has become an integral piece of Orlando’s game plans, though his role on the team has fluctuated. In his 58 appearances with the Magic this season, the former Arizona Wildcat has racked up averages of 14.4 points on 43.3 percent shooting from the field (30.1 percent from beyond the arc), 7.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and just under one steal (0.9) in 33.0 minutes per outing.

At 30-35 overall, the Magic are indeed still in the hunt for the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Orlando currently holds the No. 8 spot in the East, just a half-game behind the seventh-seeded Brooklyn Nets and 5.5 games ahead of the Washington Wizards.

However, the NBA decided to suspend the regular season in March due to ongoing concerns with the coronavirus pandemic. At this point, it’s not clear when (or if) play might resume.