Despite Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon's insistence that he's done with the Slam Dunk contest, Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade - one of the five judges in Saturday's event - believes the runner-up won't dwell on losing the competition in controversial fashion.
"Aaron Gordon is not going to lose any sleep about not winning that dunk contest. He's one of our better NBA players, one of the young stars in this league," Wade told Complex Sports following the competition.
Rapper Common, who also served as a judge, said they planned for the dunk-off between Gordon and Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. to end in a tie. That would have resulted in the judges determining a winner by voting for the top overall participant throughout the competition. However, one unknown judge deviated from the plan, which allowed Jones to edge Gordon for the trophy.
Wade, who was teammates with Jones from 2018 to 2019 when he returned to the Heat to close out his career, denied being the rogue judge.
"I mean, it took nine rounds, it wasn't biased," Wade said. "It got to the point where I wasn't the only one that gave a nine. Let's talk about that. It was three people that gave a nine (on Gordon's final dunk)."
Gordon also narrowly lost the 2016 dunk contest to Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
Meanwhile, Jones joined teammate Bam Adebayo as the second Heat representative to win an event Saturday after the latter won the Skills Challenge earlier in the evening.