Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon draw comparisons to the 1988 Slam Dunk contest featuring NBA legends Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins.
It has been more than a day since the Verizon NBA Slam Dunk Contest became an instant classic, but fans, players, and analysts alike are still raving at the dunks pulled off by Aaron Gordon and eventual champion Zach LaVine.
Among the distinct comparisons to the 2016 contest was the 1988 classic in Chicago, which featured NBA legends Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan.
The eerie similarity between Michael Jordan and Zach LaVine was that they entered their respective Slam Dunk competitions as defending champion. Also, Dominique Wilkins – a few years removed from his title reign – gave Jordan a run for his money in the 1988 competition, similar to what Aaron Gordon did.
One of the protagonists of the ’88 dunk competition, Dominique Wilkins, gave his seal of approval to both LaVine and Gordon with this tweet:
The dunk contest is back!!!
— Dominique Wilkins (@DWilkins21) February 14, 2016
However, one possible difference that remains to be seen is if LaVine will return to defend his title and become the first three-time dunk contest champion in the event’s history. Jordan, after his 1988 win, decided to leave the contest on top of his game.
But before we find out the fate of LaVine in his future as dunk contest champion, let’s take a side-by-side comparison of both the 1988 and 2016 dunk competitions: