Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine on Saturday won the Slam Dunk Contest during NBA All-Star Weekend for the second consecutive year, and as it turns out, he had some inspiration for pushing through his duel with Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic.
LaVine took to Instagram after edging Gordon to reveal he was dedicating the dunk contest and the trophy to the late Flip Saunders:
I dedicate this dunk contest and the trophy to my late coach, Flip Saunders and the Saunders family. He's the one that always believed in me and drafted me! We all loved Flip and his memory will live on forever! #loveyacoach #2016dunkchamp
Saunders coached LaVine during the latter's first year in the NBA, but the Timberwolves coach had to step away from the team before this season to receive treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. He died in October at the age of 60.
It may have been LaVine's second victory in the dunk contest, but it's clear this one meant a little more than the first.