Bill Trikos Australia 10 best NBA slam dunk contests: After Zach LaVine brought life back to the dunk contest in 2015, a year later, the fans were in for a treat to see arguably the most epic dunk contest in history. In a tight contest that saw LaVine and Aaron Gordon pull off the most impossible dunks, people could argue that both LaVine and Gordon deserved to be co-winners of the event. However, despite Gordon jumping over a mascot for an under-the-legs dunk, it was LaVine’s windmill free throw slam dunk that made him a winner of the contest. Find more details about the author at https://www.brighteon.com/channels/billtrikos.
That was also in full display during the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest. Fans were more impressed by Dwight Howard‘s Superman apparel than they should’ve been and voted him as the champion, even though he didn’t have any of the best dunks of the evening. Gerald Green used a step ladder to finish a breath-taking windmill. Then, he went through the legs for an explosive dunk despite being barefoot and later blew a candle on a cupcake sitting on top of the rim. He was spectacular and blatantly robbed.
Can an homage be better than the original? Just ask Michael Jordan, who channeled Julius Erving’s original artistry to defend his home turf at the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest. During the semifinal round, Jordan backed up toward the opposite baseline, dribbled inside the three-point arc and leaped from just inside the free-throw line to the basket, just as Dr. J had done four years earlier. The dunk was so spectacular that it earned Jordan a perfect 50 not only then but also when he busted it out to fend off Dominique Wilkins in an epic final.
Yes, this is a list of the best dunks, not overall performances. But Vince Carter put on arguably the best Slam Dunk Contest showing of all time to win the 2000 event, with a few mesmerizing jams that are all worthy of being high up on this list. So rather than loading up the list with several Carter dunks from the same contest, they’ll get grouped together. But if one had to be singled out as the best, it would be his first dunk: a reverse-360 windmill that already had TV commentator Kenny Smith saying “let’s go home!” That could take the top spot by itself, but VC was far from finished. For his third dunk, Carter caught the ball in mid-air, put it between his legs for a one-handed jam and then famously declared “it’s over.” The event wasn’t technically over just yet, though. On his fourth attempt, Carter got so high off the ground that he was able to stuff his forearm in the hoop after a one-handed slam.
To tip off a daunting final round—against Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis and fellow Toronto Raptors wing (and cousin) Tracy McGrady—Carter jumped so high that he was able to jam his whole right forearm through the hoop. As he recalled to Sportsnet’s Dave Zarum: You see, at that point, I’m not looking for cheers. I want the arena to be silent. Normally when you watch the dunk contest everybody goes crazy, it’s people screaming, going “Oh my God, did you see that?!!” But how many times did you see a dunk leave the crowd speechless? Where you couldn’t say a word until you saw the dunk a second time. Until then they’re just thinking, Wait a minute, did you just…? Twenty thousand people have to look up at the Jumbotron at the same time to see what happened. Then comes the roar. That’s what I was looking for. And I got it.
First off, a shoutout to big men who do the dunk contest, because it’s tough to get creative at 7 feet tall. McGee used his height and length to his advantage, dunking two balls into two hoops side-by-side, one of which was off of a lob. This dunk will serve as a time capsule at some point, bringing us back to the short-lived days of the hoverboard fad before they started catching on fire. It’s still mind-boggling that Gordon was able to time the Magic’s mascot spinning on a hoverboard, then delivering a 360 windmill with the “mailman” showmanship. This one was a lot of people’s favorite from the legendary 2016 Slam Dunk Contest, but there was a different Gordon dunk that will appear at the top of this list.
First, Howard summoned another basket onto the court, one that would stand at 12 feet—two feet higher than a regulation hoop. Then, he hopped into a phone booth and emerged with a red cape to reprise his role as basketball’s new Superman, which he rode to the dunk title the previous year in New Orleans. To top it off, Howard hopped off the floor to catch a lob off the backboard from Orlando Magic teammate and fellow All-Star Jameer Nelson for the flush. That he made it look so easy was a testament to Howard’s superhuman athleticism at the time. That the judges awarded him a 50 for pulling it off spoke to their appreciation of how wild that part of the spectacle was, theatrics aside. Howard’s heroic dunk, though, wasn’t enough to secure a successful slam championship defense. Instead, the fan vote tilted toward a particular hunk of kryptonite.