NEW ORLEANS – (Staff Report by Digital Sports Desk from Official News Release) – The Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon, last year’s runner-up, and NBA All-Star DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers will take flight in the 2017 Verizon Slam Dunk on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Gordon and Jordan are joined in the four-player field by Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns and Glenn Robinson III of the Indiana Pacers.
Verizon Slam Dunk is part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which will be televised by TNT at 8 p.m. ET and will also be available on the Watch TNT App and on TNT Overtime. In addition, the event will be broadcast on ESPN Radio, with audio also available on the ESPN app.
Gordon returns to Verizon Slam Dunk after a dazzling performance last year that included three consecutive perfect scores of 50. This season, the three-year veteran is averaging a career-high 11.4 points per game. The 6-9 forward has scored at least 20 points six times after recording five 20-point games in his first two seasons combined.
Jordan, a 2015-16 All-NBA First Team selection and a first-time All-Star in 2017, is tied for the NBA lead in rebounding (13.8 rpg) and paces the league in field goal percentage (69.6) for the fifth straight season. The 6-11 center also has a league-high 150 dunks in his ninth season.
Jones has split time this season between the Suns and their NBA Development League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns. The 6-7 rookie forward will become the first player to compete in the NBA Slam Dunk competition and play in the NBA D-League in the same season. Nicknamed “Airplane Mode” for his leaping ability, Jones won a national dunk contest for high school players in 2015 before playing one season at UNLV.
Robinson III has started 24 of his 46 games in his third NBA season, averaging 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds overall for the Pacers. The 6-6 guard/forward is the son of two-time NBA All-Star Glenn Robinson Jr., the first overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft.
Verizon Slam Dunk is a two-round event in which the four participants can perform any dunk they choose without time limits. The players have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30.
All four competitors get two dunks in the first round. The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks advance to the head-to-head final round. The player with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round is crowned the champion.