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Dwight Howard, Aaron Gordon headline NBA All-Star Dunk Contest participants

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 01: Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up slam dunking prior to the start of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on February 01, 2020 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

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Superman is back.

Dwight Howard — who won the NBA Dunk Contest back in 2008 — is returning a dozen years to “defend” his crown.

Tuesday the NBA made official what we already knew, the four participants in the All-Star Saturday night NBA Dunk Contest are:

• Pat Connaughton, Bucks.
• Aaron Gordon, Magic.
• Dwight Howard, Lakers.
• Derrick Jones Jr., Heat.

The casual fan may look at those names, think about the up and down nature of the dunk contest, and think “meh.” But there is a lot of potential in that group.

Derrick Jones Jr., making his second Dunk Contest appearance, should be the betting favorite for my money. He is arguably the best in-game dunker in the league today.

Aaron Gordon should have won this thing in 2016 and is fully capable of winning it next weekend.

The Dwight Howard Redemption Tour 2020 will return to the dunk contest, and sleep on him at your own peril.

Pat Connaughton is a flat out athlete. He could be a major league pitcher right now, but instead he will be throwing it down in the Dunk Contest.

The Dunk Contest format is the same as it has been for a while. All four participants get two dunks in the first round, with three attempts to complete the dunk. A panel of five celebrity finalists will judge each dunk. The players with the two highest scores advance n to the final round where they will do two more dunk competition.