A phenomenal 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest ended in controversy on Saturday in Chicago's United Center.
For one, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon didn't win despite registering perfect 50 scores on his first five dunks and only getting a 47 on his final one after leaping over 7'5" Boston Celtics center Tacko Fall.
Afterward, Slam Dunk Contest judge Common said that he expected the result to be a tie between Gordon and eventual winner Derrick Jones Jr.:
Jones Jr. and Gordon went to a dunk-off after tying in the final round with a pair of 50-score dunks. The two started their dunk-off with 50s again before Jones Jr. got a 48 to finish and Gordon followed him with his 47.
Five judges scored the event: Common, Dwyane Wade, Candace Parker, Chadwick Boseman and Scottie Pippen.
Common spoke on the matter further to Shelburne.
"I really felt it was an even battle and we—as judges—felt the scores should be even and they should just have a judge off. We had the cards. Put your card up for who had the best dunks."
It was announced before the final attempt of the dunk-off that the contest would go to a "judges' decision" if the two were still tied after the final slam from each contestant. That never happened with Jones Jr. edging Gordon, 48-47.
Shelburne also spoke with Parker, who also said that the judges intended on scoring the final dunk a 48 so the two competitors could end in a tie.
Parker elaborated further:
Wade, Boseman and Pippen gave nines for the final dunk, while Parker and Common awarded 10s. The scores were reversed on the Jones dunk, with the former three giving 10s and the latter two presenting nines.
There are perhaps three dunk contests in league history where one could argue both competitors should have won. The first was Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins in their epic battle in 1988 in Chicago.
The last two both involved Gordon, who also lost to Zach LaVine in 2016.
Gordon has gone home without a trophy both times now after delivering one of the greatest shows the contest has ever seen.
Credit goes to Derrick Jones Jr., however, who was phenomenal in his own right and was up to the task of going blow for blow with Gordon.