2020 NBA All-Star Weekend: NBA renames All-Star Game MVP Award after Kobe Bryant, Dunk Contest Was Supposed To End In Tie But One Judge Screwed up

Hield hit the final shot at the buzzer to win the title

It was a heated competition during the second event of All-Star Saturday night, as Buddy Hield narrowly defeated Devin Booker and Davis Bertans in the final round of the 3-Point Contest. It was an exciting final round as Hield went last and need to get 27 points to beat Booker's 26 points. With the clock winding down on the last rack Hield launched up the final ball with 25 points already and nailed it at the buzzer. 

NBA
@NBA

Buddy Hield heats up late for a first round score of 27! He's moving on to the final round.

📺: @NBAonTNT

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The league introduced a new wrinkle in the 3-Point Contest this year with the addition of the "Mountain Dew Zone" which placed two green balls around the 3-point line and each ball counted as three points. Devonte' Graham hit the first Mountain Dew Zone shot of the night in the first round, and it proved to be a crucial shot throughout the event. Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine had the support of the home crowd behind him, and while he started the first round off hot, he went cold toward the end and did not advance. 

Booker and Hield pushed the tempo the entire night as both players hit 27 points in the first round. It's only fitting that the final round came down between the two of them with Hield nailing the final shot for 27 points. Graham, Trae YoungDuncan Robinson and defending champion Joe Harris couldn't get into a good rhythm in the first round and failed to advance. 

Buddy Hield stayed hot all night

In the first round of the 3-Point Contest, Hield put up 27 points to tie Devin Booker as the leader. Unlike some of the earlier competitors who were unable to get into a rhythm like Trae Young, Devonte' Graham and Duncan Robinson, Hield came out on fire hitting six of his first 10 shots, and he never really slowed down. His final rack in the first round was his money ball rack, and he made every single one which propelled him to 27 points. What's even more impressive about Hield's win tonight is while he's shooting 38.5 percent from deep on the season, he ranks 53rd in the league, which is far lower than the rest of his competitors. His win proved that sometimes it doesn't matter who has the best 3-point percentage entering the contest, it's all about who can get hot fast and keep that momentum going the entire time.

"As a shooter you want to win one," Hield said after his win. "Every shooter wants to win one, and I feel like that. Joe won last year. Bertans is having a great year shooting the ball, Devin, Trae, Zach. Top three-point guys in the league. You want to come out and show it, but it's fun."

When the final round came around it looked like Booker would take home the crown after putting up 26 points, already knocking out Davis Bertans. Hield started out slow on the first rack, hitting only two, but he went a perfect 5-for-5 on the second rack and missed only three shots on his final three racks. When he got to his final rack — which was his money rack — he got scorching hot, missing only one, and nailed the final shot at the buzzer to send the entire crowd at the United Center into a frenzy and win the title of 3-Point Contest champ.

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Adam Silver made an emotional announcement Saturday in honor of an NBA legend

Kobe Bryant's death in a tragic helicopter accident last month rocked the NBA world to its core. Tributes poured in from the moment that the world found out what happened, with teams taking eight- and 24-second violations in his honor on the very day that he died up through the emotional ceremony that the Lakers planned in their first game following the news. The league has begun the difficult process of moving on ever since, but as NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed in his press conference Saturday, Bryant has not been forgotten. 

Silver's press conference took place in Chicago at All-Star Weekend, an event Bryant participated in 18 times and dominated by winning a record four All-Star Game MVP awards. Early in his press conference, Silver pulled a sheet off of a mystery object, revealing a newly renamed trophy for that All-Star Game MVP award. Henceforth, it will be called the Kia NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award.

"Kobe Bryant is synonymous with NBA All-Star and embodies the spirit of this global celebration of our game," said Silver during his annual press conference during All-Star weekend. "He always relished the opportunity to compete with the best of the best and perform at the highest level for millions of fans around the world."

The entire weekend has given the league several chances to honor Bryant. He was named a finalist for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, and he is sure to earn enshrinement later this year. 

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Numerous fans and even the announcers on TNT were outraged over the outcome of Saturday night’s Dunk Contest, with many, including us, feeling like Aaron Gordon got robbed. According to rapper Common, Gordon did get robbed.

Common was one of the five judges on the panel for the Dunk Contest, along with Candace Parker, Scottie Pippen, Chadwick Boseman and Dwyane Wade.

Gordon and Derrick Jones Jr. were the finalists and each got perfect 50s on their first two dunks of the finals. They went to a dunk-off and each got 50s again on their third dunks. Then for their fourth dunks, Jones Jr. received a 48.

Gordon then brought out Tacko Fall and dunked over the 7-foot-5 big man. Somehow he only got a 47 from the judges, who give scores on a 1-10 scale. The low point total seemed unfair.

Common and Parker both gave Gordon a 10, while the other three judges gave him a 9.


Luka_Magic@Spe3d_Killz

Saw this tweet on another comment. Look at all the judges reactions. Bosemam was shocked and Pippen was upset. The one heat player was trying to get his earpiece out of his right away. Candace and Common gave a score of “10”.

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Common says they were supposed to give Gordon a 48 to have it tied.

“We thought it was going to be tied. We were like, ‘This is a tie!'” Common told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “But somebody didn’t do it right. I don’t know who it is.”

Parker also told Shelburne it was supposed to be a tie. If you look at this picture, it sure seems like Common and Pippen thought Wade was the judge who screwed up.

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Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. is up for a rematch with Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon after barely edging him in the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday in Chicago's United Center.

ESPN's Rachel Nichols provided the scoop:

Rachel Nichols
@Rachel__Nichols

Interviewed Derrick Jones Jr for @SportsCenter - he said if Aaron Gordon thinks he should have won, he’s welcome to come back for a rematch next year. 👀

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Gordon expressed his displeasure upon losing after a contest in which he had perfect scores for his first five dunks before a competition-closing 47 in a dunk-off with Jones Jr., per Ben Golliver of the Washington Post.

The two competitors both scored a perfect 100 points in the two-dunk finals to force the bonus round. Jones Jr. and Gordon each got 50s to start off before the eventual winner's 48 on his last attempt proved to be good enough by one point.

Ben Golliver
@BenGolliver

Magic’s Aaron Gordon after controversial Slam Dunk Contest loss to Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr.: “We’re here to do four dunks. It should be the best out of four dunks. I did four straight 50s — five straight 50s. It’s over. It’s a wrap. Let’s go home.”

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Gordon seems to have retired from dunking competitions, however, per his post-contest press conference:

Ben Golliver
@BenGolliver

After controversial losses in 2016 and 2020 Slam Dunk Contests, Magic’s Aaron Gordon says he’s done with the event for good: “It’s a wrap, bro. I feel like I should have two trophies.”

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Jones Jr. also said that he believed his final dunk of the night was better than Gordon's:

Ben Golliver
@BenGolliver

Slam Dunk Contest champion Derrick Jones Jr. says his last dunk was worth a 50 and that Aaron Gordon’s final dunk over Tacko Fall wasn’t worth a 50: “There’s no way I should have got a 48. He clipped Tacko’s head so they couldn’t give him a 50 for that one.”

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