Jarrett Jack headed to Atlanta

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February 20, 2017 | 2:17 pm EST Update
These days, Gordon drives a Tesla, backs a mental awareness app called Lucid, and collects gadgets like they’re stamps or baseball cards. “Aaron and Drew discovered those full-wall projectors,” Davis quipped. “I’d come home and these grown people are doing blanket pillow forts in the family room watching the full projector set up.” The idea for a “Drone Dunk” came to Gordon this past year as he puzzled over how to top his 2016 performance in Toronto, which featured the Magic’s mascot spinning on a hoverboard. While surfing the Internet, Gordon had his “Aha” moment when he stumbled on a video of a drone delivering packages. “I thought, ‘Why not?’ Why couldn’t it just deliver a basketball? What if it just dropped an alley-oop?” No question, a drone is a clear step up from a hoverboard.
But then his biggest fear, the dunk’s timing, spoiled the show. Gordon’s first effort at the alley-oop finish, which involved passing the ball through his legs to dunk with his right hand, wasn’t particularly close. The drone team quickly reloaded the basketball and the pilots quickly repositioned the drone for a second effort, and then a third. The contest organizers then allowed him a fourth try, which he converted to earn 38 points out of a possible 50. Instead of celebrating, he shook his head with a somewhat disgusted smile, and his score reflected the judges’ intolerance for the missed attempts. “You can’t [recover],” he told SI.com by telephone, still sounding clearly disappointed more than an hour after the contest’s end. “After I didn’t get the first one down, I knew I was eliminated. I knew it was pretty much over after that.”
It was the kind of meeting Barkley might not have taken as a younger man, an NBA superstar with the 76ers, Suns and Rockets. Barkley had his wild younger days, including t hrowing a man through a window and skipping an All-Star Game to gamble, as we were reminded of this month by LeBron James. Now he says he’s in “a better place” – and even more influential than he was as 1992-93 NBA MVP. “I’m not the first, and I’m certainly not going to be the last that did stupid things in their 20s,” Barkley said. “I might do stupid things in 50s. But I mean, it’s not about the things you do wrong. Everybody’s going to make mistakes; mine are just more public. But nah, that didn’t bother me at all. You know the really cool thing about the stupid stuff I did? A lot of times kids make mistakes and can never recover.”
Storyline: LeBron-Barkley Beef