Derrick Jones Jr. Wins 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Where Win Ranks All Time

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIFebruary 16, 2020

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 15: Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat wins the 2020 NBA All-Star - AT&T Slam Dunk on February 15, 2020 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Derrick Jones Jr. is the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion, albeit with some controversy.

While nobody can dispute that the Miami Heat forward threw down some impressive slams Saturday night, many will remember this year's dunk contest as the second time Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon had an argument to be the winner but ended up losing.

In 2016, Gordon fell short when he lost to Zach LaVine in a double tiebreaker in his first dunk contest appearance. Gordon didn't return to the event until this year, when he again fell in a double tiebreaker, this time to Jones.

Gordon scored a perfect 50 on each of his first five dunks of the night (two in the first round, two in the finals, one in the first tiebreaker) but lost to Jones by one point in the second tiebreaker, only scoring a 47 on an impressive slam over 7'5" Tacko Fall of the Boston Celtics.

Although Gordon lost and there was some controversy about the judges wanting that second tiebreaker to also result in a tie, it shouldn't take away from a strong showing by Jones, who has emerged as one of the league's best dunkers in recent years.

After scoring a 46 on his first dunk of the night, Jones stepped it up by scoring a perfect 50 on four straight slams. Then he received a 48 from the judges on his final dunk, an impressive slam that featured him getting a lot of air on his way up:

However, Jones' most impressive dunk of the night was his first slam of the finals, which featured him going between his legs while dunking over two people in an unprecedented feat:

Both of these players will be remembered for providing the contest with another epic showdown that could have gone either way given the number of impressive slams that they contributed.

                   

Where Jones' Performance Ranks

With how impressive both Jones and Gordon were in this year's contest, it's reasonable to include both players on a top-10 list of all-time dunk contest performances, just like Gordon and LaVine should both be included for their 2016 showings.

The best performances in dunk contest history are the legendary showings by Vince Carter (2000), Michael Jordan (1988), Dominique Wilkins (1985 and 1988) and Spud Webb (1986) that laid the groundwork for the event for this generation of players.

However, Jones and Gordon, along with Gordon for his previous showing and LaVine, should be included with Dwight Howard (2008) and Blake Griffin (2011) on the second tier of top performances in the contest.

Gordon is going to be remembered as one of the best dunk contest performers to never win the event, which is a shame considering all the elite dunks that he provided in only two appearances.

Jones, who reached the final in 2017, is also now an all-time great in dunk contest lore. His slams Saturday night were innovative and incredible athletic feats.

So put Jones and Gordon on the top-10 list but in the lower half behind the legends who made this event great. Their showdown in this year's contest, meanwhile, was a notch above the 2016 event in terms of excitement and overall impressiveness.

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