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NBA Slam Dunk Contest Classic: Zach Lavine

Zach Lavine began his career in the NBA as one of the best dunkers after winning the 2015 and 2016 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Let’s look back at his dunking career.

The last time Zach Lavine joined the NBA Slam Dunk contest was way back in 2016, his second and last title – a memorable contest of his life with Aaron Gordon. Here, we will revisit and will go through the best moments from one of the best dunkers in the NBA and Slam Dunk Contest ever. 

Zach Lavine took first flight in 2015 Contest

Before the infamous 2015 Dunk Contest that took Zach Lavine by storm, the contest was at an all-time low in terms of popularity and viewership since the 2000 Vince Carter Dunk show. In 2014, a year before Lavine won his first Slam Dunk title, the NBA saw the competition were at an all-time low due to a fail format experiment. 

However in 2015, the then-Minnesota Timberwolves Guard took the opportunity and showcased his insane vertical leap and hang time when he made the between-the legs dunk, behind-the-back dunk, and the incredible windmill dunk from the free throw line that seal his first Slam Dunk title and made the expectation skyrocketed for the 2016. 

2016 Slam Dunk: Lavine versus Gordon moments to remember

After that 2015 Slam Dunk Contest, fans all around the world were hyped to once again witness the greatness of Zach Lavine, maybe some dunker who will challenge the champion, by the name of Aaron Gordon. 

Eventually, the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest is really worth the hype. No, it was beyond the hype. It was a Dunk contest of history. Zach Lavine and Aaron Gordon put on a show in a back and forth dunk thrillers of the ages. Both were very consistent in producing impactful and beautiful dunks that always earned a perfect score of 50. However, this 2016 contest was very controversial and for fans this would be the only exceptional contest where there are two winners. Lavine and Gordon both deserve the title as they put on an emphasis and really placed the Slam Dunk Competition to another level.

The Mascot props dunks from Gordon, the set of behind-the-back and between-the-legs dunks from Lavine both received 50 and sent the finals into sudden-death thriller where each player will need to make a dunk until one of them wins.

Gordon made a double-pump dunk that judges gave 47, though many argue that it should be given 50 due to the degree of difficulty. Lavine then needed to score 48 to retain his crown. Lavine made an empathic windmill dunk contest from the free throw line that sealed him an easy 50 and a second title.

Many fans criticized the result, however, it is obvious that Zach Lavine really won the match due to the level of difficulty. It is always hard to do a dunk from the free throw line and do a windmill as a twist, which makes it more difficult. That’s why, 2016 should be equally given to both.

Overall, the 2015 and 2016 Slam Dunk Contest of Zach Lavine really sealed his name in the NBA World and became a way to provide a lot of attention on his name that causes him to shape as an All-Star and cornerstone player today for the Chicago Bulls. There is still no clearance on when will Zach Lavine return to the dunk contest stage and provide another thriller to win his third title.

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