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The Dunk Contest at the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, which came down to Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon, was a delightful showing between two of the league’s bounciest and rangiest athletes. In edging out Gordon by a single point on his final dunk, Jones took home the crown and handed Gordon the second Dunk Contest runner-up finish of his career.
Many viewers believed Gordon was robbed of a title. Shortly after its result, Common, who served as a judge, revealed one of his peers screwed up. They were supposed to give Gordon a score of 48 to match Jones, but three judges gave him a 9, meaning he fell a point shy of tying Jones. While all three judges to extended him a 9 — Dwyane Wade, Chadwick Boseman and Scottie Pippen — were suspects, some evidence hinted at Wade being the most likely culprit.
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) February 16, 2020
During Wednesday’s Summer League Game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves, Bucks wing Pat Connaughton, another participant of that 2020 Dunk Contest, made a guest appearance on NBATV’s broadcast team. At one point, he, Jared Greenberg and Brendan Haywood discussed a question posited by Connaughton: would you rather have a 50 in one of the best dunk contests of all time and lose or win the worst dunk contest of all time?
Connaughton was not a finalist in 2020, but did receive a 50 for one of his dunks. After Haywood briefly bowed out from the conversation by saying, “I can’t answer that,” Greenberg chimed in with a quip about Wade’s perceived misstep.
“You know who we should ask?” Greenberg rhetorically inquired. “We should ask Dwyane Wade.”
Pat Connaughton asks "would you rather have a 50 in the best dunk contest of all time and lose or win the worst dunk contest of all time?" and @DwyaneWade is catching strays pic.twitter.com/Eo01TfG439
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) July 13, 2022
“Oh, stop it,” Haywood said amid laughs from Connaughton and Greenberg. “He’s out here cooking the books for his guy.”
“I was a part of it,” Connaughton replied. “I know.”
From there, Connaughton and Haywood agreed that it would be better to win the worst dunk contest of all-time rather than earn a 50-point dunk and lose.
“At least you go down in the books,” Haywood said. “If you win, you go down in the books.”
Connaughton, of course, knows this all too well, as his strong performance in the first round is a mere footnote in that Gordon-Jones battle (and the ensuing controversy).