I think we all can agree that we all love All-Star weekend mainly because of the Slam Dunk Contest. The All-Star game is a big deal as well, but just not as exciting as seeing some of the most athletic players attempt the most creative dunks. I can only imagine how tough it is to be a judge for this competition. Today we’re taking it back to the old school days to judge the best dunk contests. Dunk Contests nowadays have become more and more creative because we’ve seen it all. We’ve seen players jump over other players, cars and even dunk on two baskets at the same time. The creativity of current dunk contests may be at an all time high, but nothing beats the good ol’ NBA dunk contests, without props, that went head to head until the end. Today’s topic is “The Top 5 Old School NBA Slam Dunk Contests”.
#5 Dominique & MJ go head to head (1985 Slam Dunk Contest)
This dunk contest was memorial for many reasons. First, Terence Stansbury showcased his skills completing a very forgotten 390 dunk. Second, Michael Jordan gave us the “rock the cradle” dunk, which is a dunk that he’s remembered for, and lastly Dominique Wilikins two-handed windmill. Although this was 1985, many many years ago, this contest will always be remembered as the time MJ and Wilkins went head to head for the trophy. They equally traded punches, a windmill here and a reverse dunk there. I’m sure the judges, who have never seen such a thing in the NBA, didn’t know how to judge this competition. The contest planted a seed for the future of NBA dunk contests. Wilkins came out on top of MJ, but we can thank those two for continuously elevating the standards of a dunk. Check out some more highlights from the memorable 1985 Slam Dunk Contest.
#4 Spud Webb shows no mercy (1986 Slam Dunk Contest)
The 1986 dunk contest will be memorable because the 5’6 point guard Spud Webb did the impossible. His dunks just didn’t even look real, and for it to happen in 1986 is insane! Spud caught lobs, finished reverse dunks and spiked down-one handed dunks with absolute ease. Ironically enough, he played on the Hawks and was teammates with another high flying dunker Dominique Wilkins. Wilkins never thought Spud could get up like he did, but he was proven wrong. He became the shortest to participate in a slam dunk contest and also to win one as well. Now it’s more common to see little guys get up, but thanks to Spud he put them on the map. Nate Robinson first competed in the dunk contest in 2006, and went on to be the only 3-time winner winning the 2006, 2009, and 2010 Slam Dunk contest. Thanks Spud for planting more seeds and going against the norms putting on for the little guys in the NBA. Check out some more highlights from the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest.
#3 Jason Richardson Back-to Back (2003 Slam Dunk Contest)
Richardson took the trophy back in 2002 winning the first and only ever tournament style format dunk contest. Jason was memorable because he always jumped off 2 feet when dunking and that is 10x harder than jumping off your one strong foot. Just imagine how much bounce he had to jump off 2 feet while dunking?? Incredible. He knocked off Desmond Mason and put up three perfect scores in four attempts and of course he saved the best dunk for last. He bounced the ball towards the hoop, put it between the legs backwards and finished the ball over his head with his off hand. The fans and commentators went nuts as they just witnessed first hand the best dunk that they have ever seen in person. He left the judges no choice and was named the Slam Dunk champion for the second year in a row. Check out some highlights from the 2003 Slam Dunk Contest.
#2 Jordan gets revenge (1988 Slam Dunk Contest)
Jordan doesn’t take losing very well, so we all knew that his revenge was coming sooner than later. It was the same story, but a slightly different result this time. MJ and Wilkins went head to head, again, and believe it or not Wilkins kept up scoring around 45 for most of his equally impressive dunks. But, MJ was on a whole other level this night. He had some sick reverse dunks that left the crowd on their feet, and of course the cocked back one handed dunk from the free throw line. I guess this is where the “air” came from in “air jordan” but this dunk will always go down in history as one of the best and also became jordans trademark dunk. It came down to the final dunk. Jordan needed at least a 48 on his last dunk to take the trophy, and of course he exceeded expectations and was awarded a perfect 50 score. Honestly, this contest could have gone either way, just like the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest, but of course everyone loved to see Jordan win. By this time if you weren’t on the Jordan bandwagon, you definitely hopped on after witnessing his greatness.
#1 Vinsanity (2000 Slam Dunk Contest)
There’s surely no discussion about who comes in at number one, but none the other Vince Carter in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. When you hear Vince Carter, what first comes to mind? Dunking, that forsure. He’s one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history, and he made the 2000 Dunk Contest one of the best in NBA history. He busted out his “elbow dunk”, and a 360 windmill that had fans shook. He went up against Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis, who were good enough to win any other dunk contest, well except this one. He earned the nickname “Half Man, Half Amazing” taking home the trophy with ease. T-Mac and Francis stood no chance against the high-flying Vince Carter. He’s one of the greatest to ever put on a show in the Dunk Contest, but once again, thanks to those who planted seeds before Vince, the Dunk Contest and the NBA wouldn’t be where it is today. So let’s check out some of the best moments from the historic 2000 Slam Dunk Contest.
I hope these Dunk Contest moments brought back some good memories. There’s nothing like the good ol’ NBA days, when everyone had something to prove. This concludes today’s video as we looked at “The Top 5 Old School Slam Dunk Contests” What old school dunk contest is the most memorable to you? Let us know in the comments below.