Skip to main content

NBA Slam Dunk Contest Judges Reveal Reason For Controversial Result

Miami Heat wing Derrick Jones Jr. hoists NBA Dunk Contest trophy.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 15: Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2020 NBA All-Star - AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at the United Center on February 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Without a doubt, this year's NBA Slam Dunk Contest was one of the most memorable in recent history, not just for the dunks themselves but for the controversial finish.

Miami Heat high-flyer Derrick Jones Jr. beat Orlando's Aaron Gordon in two tiebreakers. On the final dunk-off, Jones scored a 48 while Gordon landed a 47, despite the fact he soared over 7-foot-5 Tacko Fall to execute his dunk.

After the event, Gordon was dejected about his loss, saying he felt like he'd been robbed of two dunk titles in his career. But according to two of the five panelists who judged the competition, things didn't end how they were supposed to.

Hip-hop artist Common told ESPN that Jones and Gordon were supposed to be tied after the second dunk-off. It seems like one judge didn't get the memo though.

"We thought it was going to be tied. We were like, 'This is a tie!'" one judge, hip-hop artist Common, told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "But somebody didn't do it right. I don't know who it is."

Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker, another judge on the panel, confirmed that they had intended for the second dunk-off to result in a tie.

Parker and Common each gave Gordon a 10, with Scottie Pippen, Dwyane Wade and actor Chadwick Boseman handing out 9s. Apparently, one of those three should have awarded Gordon a 10.

The NBA wouldn't have declared co-winners, so the two competitors probably would have to keep dunking if they had both received a 48.

Either way, despite producing five 50-point scores, Gordon goes home empty-handed. Tough scene.