LaVine Dedicates Dunk Contest to Flip Saunders

The All-Star Game tips off Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. EST.

After outlasting Aaron Gordon in what many believe was the best slam dunk contest in All-Star weekend history, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine posted a touching tribute to the late Flip Saunders on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Saunders, the Timberwolves president and coach, died suddenly from Hodgkins lymphoma just days before the season started. Saunders drafted LaVine 13th overall two years ago despite the young guard playing only one season as a bench player at UCLA.

LaVine posted a photo of his dunk championship trophy resting on a black Timberwolves jersey. The name "FLIP" was written across the back and LaVine's No. 8 was rotated horizontally to mimic an infinity sign.

"I dedicate this dunk contest and the trophy to my late coach, Flip Saunders and the Saunders family," LaVine wrote. "He's the one that always believed in me and drafted me! We all loved Flip and his memory will love on forever!"

The All-Star Game tips off Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. EST. With Kobe's final All-Star chapter the main storyline, the East and West clash in the 65th edition of the showcase event.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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