Zach LaVine put on an epic dunk contest for the ages, dueling with Orlando’s Aaron Gordon en route to his second straight Slam Dunk Contest victory. Many viewed the outcome differently, but regardless it brought the Slam Dunk Contest back for real.
Despite many not believing that he was the true champ this year, LaVine took to Instagram to dedicate his trophy to the late coach who believed in his NBA potential, Flip Saunders.
Saunders drafted LaVine out of UCLA 13th overall in the 2014 draft, even though he was only a freshman coming off the bench in Westwood. He coached LaVine in his rookie year in Minnesota before passing unexpectedly before this season after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In a lengthy coaching career with Minnesota as well as the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards, he went 654-594 and was a Minnesota Timberwolves staple.
The man is obviously missed and LaVine’s tribute is quite heartwarming.