After tossing out the possibility in a recent music video that he will not participate in the NBA Dunk Contest ever again, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon confirmed his stance to Stephen A. Smith on First Take.
Gordon said the dunk contest requires so much planning and practice that it actually takes away from his ability to fully focus on the stretch run of the NBA season, and after two near-losses, he’s ready to put it in the past.
Instead, the down time during the NBA’s hiatus has helped Gordon focus on how important it is to him to make it back to the postseason.
“(The 2019 first-round series against Toronto) was the most exciting basketball I’ve ever played,” Gordon said. “That’s the focus, to be in the big games and to win for Orlando.”
Gordon has long been seen as a hinge piece of Orlando’s core, but has fluctuated between roles and playing styles in a way that has made it hard to pin down what exactly he is as an NBA player. The Magic haven’t helped by drafting big man after big man, forcing Gordon to play small forward rather than the 4 or 5 spot, which would give him more consistent physical advantages.
Asked what needed to happen to make his playoff performances stand out more than his Dunk Contest performances, Gordon said he needed to play with more discipline and be more consistent.
Should the NBA season resume, the Magic would enter the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.