We still can’t get over just how mind-bogglingly awesome the 2016 NBA Dunk Contest was this year, with the immediately legendary clash between Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine having turned us all back into kids again. But while you can never scientifically understand the beauty of a man flying, Sports Science did their best by trying to contextualize the insane leaping ability of LaVine and Gordon’s dunks.
The most exciting part of this breakdown is the revelation that Gordon’s under-legs, over-mascot dunk that should have won him the trophy would have won him a high-jump medal at the 2012 Olympics.
Think about that for a second.
Yes, he was assisted by pushing off the basketball as he grabbed it, but it added less than one percent of the pound-force he generated from his initial jump. The way Gordon jackknifed his body to get both of his legs over the mascot actually wouldn’t be the worst high-jump technique, either, and he did it with less run-up than Olympians get.
So, thanks to John Brenkus and Sports Science, we have fairly legitimate cause to say that Gordon could be a legitimately great high-jumper without any formal training for the sport whatsoever. That’s the caliber of athlete he is.
And hey, he didn’t make it on Team USA for basketball, so maybe he could crack the track team. Olympic trials aren’t over, Aaron! You could still pull a Cool Runnings all over Rio!