Who Will Slam Home the Title?

The 2020 NBA dunk contest is upon us! This event occurs every season at the All Star break. People are able to watch the contest on February 15 and find it on TNT and ESPN. The competition consists of four competitors that showcase their talents of dunking the basketball in the most amazing ways possible.

Pat Connaughton is a shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks. Although Connaughton has never participated in a dunk contest before, and is the only first time participant this season, his athleticism is nothing to look past. Graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Connaughton was very athletic playing both basketball and baseball. The Baltimore Orioles drafted him but Connaughton decided to choose basketball to play at the professional level. 

There is one player that is not a stranger to the dunk contest: Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic made his statement in the 2016 contest. Even though Gordon lost the contest to LaVine, Gordon showed the league how athletic he was by performing some of the most amazing dunks in the contest’s history. Since Gordon has been here before, it is hard to imagine him not being ready for the atmosphere.

“I believe that Aaron Gordon will win this year’s NBA slam dunk contest because he did so well in the last one even though he lost to Zach Lavine. I honestly believe that he is just way more athletic than the other three competitors that he is going against,” said sophomore Logan Biche.

“I think Aaron Gordon is a phenomenal dunker and he has only gotten better through the years. I think he will come back and earn the trophy with his crazy dunks,” said junior Dylan Bailey.

The Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. is the youngest member participating in the contest this season. The 22 year old spent one year at the University of Nevada Las Vegas before being drafted by the Phoenix Suns. Jones participated in the 2017 dunk contest with the Suns and is looking to win his first dunk contest.

“In my opinion, Derrick Jones Jr. looks like he is the most complete player out of the four participating. I am picking Jones to win the contest but it will be a close call,” said junior Jordyn Lewis.

The last member of the 2020 dunk contest is Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard. Howard has been in three dunk contests. Howard won the contest in 2008 while losing in 2007 and 2009. One of the most iconic dunk contest moments took place in 2008 which included Howard wearing a Superman cape while dunking the ball. The slight twist to this particular dunk was that the rim was elevated to 12 feet instead of the normal 10 foot rim. Even though Howard is reaching the end of his NBA career, many sports personalities still believe that the Lakers center still has his explosive jumping with him.

According to bleacherreport.com, Aaron Gordon is projected to win, Jones to get second, Connaughton to get third, and Howard to finish last. Regardless of whoever wins, it is refreshing to see some familiar faces joining back for the event. It will be interesting to see how Connaughton will perform having never been there before. All four contestants are deserving of returning to the event considering some of the dunks that they have been able to pull off over the years.