Watch CBS News

Snubbed! Aaron Gordon isn't chosen as a reserve for the NBA All-Star Game

It looks like Aaron Gordon won't be participating in the Slam Dunk Contest this year after all. The NBA All-Star reserves list is out and it doesn't include the Denver Nuggets forward.

Gordon has a good case for being an All-Star for the first time in his career this season, and last month he tried to use his prowess as a dunker as leverage in his bid. (He has placed second in the Slam Dunk Contest two different times.)

It wasn't to be. Despite arguably being the second most impactful player on the Western Conference's top team and having jammed down what many people have called the dunk of the season on Christmas Day, Gordon wasn't picked by the coaches across the league to be a reserve.

Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets hammers a ferocious dunk on the head of Landry Shamet of the Phoenix Suns during overtime of Denver's 128-125 win at Ball Arena on Christmas Day. AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

After the reserves list was released on Thursday evening, Denver head coach Michael Malone called Gordon being left off a "travesty."

"As disappointed as we all are, our goals are much higher than the individual accolades that come along. We are striving to win a championship and we know that Aaron Gordon is a huge part of that," Malone said.

Numerous sports writers didn't agree with the coaches' decision. Here are some of their reasons:

James Herbert of CBS Sports
'He's scoring more efficiently than ever, dunking absolutely everything around the rim and generally thriving in Denver's read-and-react offense."

Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated senior writer
"I really wanted to see Gordon make it. He's not putting up elite numbers-or even George numbers-but he's had a career-best season on the Western Conference's best team. He's been a sturdy defender and a reliable three-point shooter with an eFG% above 60%."

Frank Urbina, HoopsHype
"A closer examination shows us how crazy (the "high flying swingman's") two-way impact has been, as the Nuggets are an astronomical 20-plus points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor."

Marc J. Spears,
"It's very rare that a team could have the best record in its conference and not get two All-Stars." (Spears also thought Gordon's teammate Jamal Murray deserved the honors.)

Andy Bailey, Bleacher Report
"Gordon is averaging 16.8 points on just 11.0 shots per game. Among players averaging at least as many attempts, Gordon's 62.1 effective field-goal percentage trails only those of Jokić (66.1) and Sabonis (63.4). And the efficient, bully-ball scoring Gordon is providing for Denver is far from his only contribution."

Gordon's teammate Nikola Jokic will be starting in the game, and the Nuggets coaching staff was picked as one of the two staffs that will be on the sidelines for the game.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.