NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Dwight Howard honors Kobe Bryant but Aaron Gordon got screwed

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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NBA Slam Dunk contest
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The NBA Slam Dunk contest was amazing on Saturday night. Dwight Howard honored Kobe Bryant in his act but finished 4th. That was nothing compared to the Final. Lake Show Life breaks down Howard’s performance and why it got lost in the controversial ending!

Last Saturday, the NBA Slam Dunk contest made its return to being the highlight event of NBA All-Star Saturday.

If it wasn’t for the wild and crazy All-Star game the next night, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest would have been the event of the weekend. The storylines from returning to Chicago connects two of the most infamous slam dunk contests in history.

  • The return to Chicago brings the dunk contest back for the first time since the infamous and controversial 1988 showdown between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins. We thought the Jordan victory was controversial. Well. keep reading, you may change your mind.
  • Aaron Gordon competes in the Slam Dunk contest fully healthy since the electric showcase of slam dunk display put on between him and Zach LaVine in 2016. A lot of things have changed for Zach LaVine since then. One, he was traded to Chicago and two, he participated in the 3-point shootout this year.

Dwight Howard became a household name back in 2008 when he introduced the new “Superman” to the NBA much to Shaquille O’Neal‘s chagrin (Like even up to Saturday night!) coming out in a Superman outfit and dominating the contest.

Aaron Gordon doesn’t have a title yet but most onlookers (Writer included!) thought he won was what was arguably the best Slam Dunk Contest showdown ever.

Dwight Howard’s plan was to get Kobe Bryant’s help in the dunk contest this year. He even asked for help from Lakers Nation for their help to getting him to help according to ESPN.

"“I’m trying to get Kobe. So if I can get all the Laker fans to lobby to get Kobe to help me in the dunk contest, that’d be really good. That’d be awesome.”"

That really put a damper on things. His act really would have worked out based on the history between the two back in 2013. With the tragedy happening, Jameer Nelson ended up bringing out the Superman cape.

Dwight Howard really is enjoying the event this year. He realizes that the Los Angeles Lakers saved his career. Now he’s just taking everything in and wants this to be about the fans. When he said this prior to the NBA Slam Dunk contest, no one knew he was speaking an event into existence.

"“Now that I’m competing against some way younger guys, I have to find a way to really make the dunk contest fun for the fans and really entertaining,” Howard said. “So came up [with] some pretty good ideas, so things are going to be a lot of fun.”"

Dwight Howard made his return to the Slam Dunk contest at the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend but was finished dead last in the first round despite a tribute to Kobe Bryant. More on that in a second.

What got him in trouble was missing his first attempt at his opening dunk. He finished it on the second try, earning a score of 41 from the judges. The dunk was probably not appreciated for what it really was because of Dwight’s size.

This dunk ended up getting the lowest score of the first round with 41 points. As the contest went on, this dunk wasn’t the only one that fans gave a side-eye to.

To do a reverse 360 dunk with a pause should have gotten a higher score. But Pat Connaughton came out with the White Men Can’t Jump theme and won the crowd over quick. Lake Show Life mentioned before that this guy was the East Coast, Alex Caruso.

Howard’s second dunk was the Kobe Bryant tribute. He peeled the logo off to reveal a No. 24 Superman “S.” The ball Howard used was autographed by Bryant. That dunk got Howard a score of 49 from the judges (To say this was a Kobe Bryant weekend is a vast understatement.)

Actor Chadwick Boseman gave him the only nine in a panel full of tens probably will guarantee former NBA players will be judging in the future. The dunks weren’t enough to save him from elimination because those “way younger guys” brought out dunks that had the crowd going crazy and scores of 50 falling out of the rafters at a record pace.