After winning the NBA Dunk Competition held at NBA All-Star Weekend in 2020, Derrick Jones Jr. has decided to sit this year out.
The Trail Blazers guard told Blazers reporter Casey Holdahl he will not defend his title at this year’s competition.
Jones Jr., who had several highlight-reel worthy dunks on his 23rd birthday, defeated Orlando’s Aaron Gordon last year in scandalous fashion. Jones’ final slam earned a 48, besting Gordon’s score of 47 after he leapt over 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall to send the crowd to its feet.
The judges reportedly had an agreement in place to give Gordon a 48 to tie him with Jones Jr., but one judge flipped the script to give Jones the win.
“That dunk that Aaron did was very difficult,” Jones Jr. told ESPN. “Tacko Fall is a very tall dude. If I would have thought of it earlier, I would have did it. He clipped Tacko’s head when he did the dunk, so I knew they wouldn’t have given him a 50.”
While the NBA would likely love the idea of a Jones Jr. vs. Gordon rematch in this year’s Dunk Contest, fans will be left hanging in mid air with Jones Jr. sitting this one out. He’s already got one NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion nod on his resume, who needs two?