Bill Trikos Australia top 5 NBA slam dunk contests of all time: The Slam Dunk Contest is one of the spectacles to watch during the NBA All-Star weekend. Throughout NBA history, we’ve seen the best dunkers in the league showcase their freakish athleticism in the annual dunking exhibition. From using cars, candles, and even grown men, dunkers have a lot of things at their disposal to show basketball fans the best dunk they have to offer. Although some dunk contests are forgettable, others will be remembered forever. For this piece, let’s rank the 10 best NBA Slam Dunk contests of all time. Discover extra details about the author on https://www.tumblr.com/billtrikos.
Standing at just 5’6”, Spud Webb wouldn’t strike you as the average NBA player. As a matter of fact, not many people would ever think that he could be a professional basketball player, let alone win the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest. But make no mistake. What Webb lacked in size, he made up for in hops. He would take over and float mid-air and made a name for himself for his emphatic, explosive dunks; even posterizing some of the best rim protectors in the Association.
That display of next-level artistry earned LaVine a perfect 50 and pushed him past Gordon to become the sixth repeat winner—and the fourth back-to-back champion—in dunk contest history. So while his challenger may have won the battle for single best dunk, LaVine was a worthy winner of the best Slam Dunk Contest war this side of MJ vs. ‘Nique. Chances are, that’s the last we’ll see of LaVine in a dunk contest. But if the 21-year-old recovers smoothly from his devastating knee injury, he’ll have ample opportunity to put opponents on posters for years to come with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
A 360 dunk is impressive by itself. But a 360 dunk by someone who’s 5-foot-6? Spud Webb did the unthinkable in the 1986 contest, dethroning reigning champion and then-Atlanta Hawks teammate Dominique Wilkins. Webb threw down a variety of great dunks, but his 360 one-handed jam was the best of the bunch. At 5-foot-6, Webb is the shortest player to ever win the Slam Dunk Contest. Maybe it’s a bit of recency bias, but three dunks from the epic Zach LaVine-Aaron Gordon showdown in 2016 crack the top five. The first comes from LaVine, who was the reigning champ at the time. The then-Timberwolves guard grabbed the ball off one bounce with his left hand, put it behind his back in mid-air and then flushed home a reverse dunk with his right. The more I watch it, the more I think it might have ranked it too low.
“Spud kind of duped him,” then-Hawks head coach Mike Fratello said, per Yahoo Sports’ Jay Busbee. “He told Wilkins he never had anything prepared, didn’t practice for it. So, Wilkins maybe thought his normal assortment would be good enough to get through.” Not against Webb, who, at 5’6″, still stands as the shortest person to ever be the league’s slam dunk champion. With one inspirational slam, Dee Brown may have set off two cultural phenomena.
The Slam Dunk Contest has been one of the most exciting and electrifying events of NBA All-Star Weekend since it debuted back in 1984. There have been several signature moments that are unforgettable in NBA history, ranging from battles between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in the 1980s, to highflyers like Vince Carter taking center stage in the 2000s, to historic showdowns featuring Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon in the 2010s. The Slam Dunk Contest has undoubtedly lost its luster over the last few years, with fewer superstars taking part in the event and contestants running out of original ideas that haven’t already been done. That’s why we’re taking a trip down memory lane to remember and honor the glory days of the event, ranking the 10 best perfect scores over the years.
In truth, the tougher task for all involved will be coming up with—and pulling off—a move worthy of all-time consideration. Scroll through the history of the dunk contest—which began in 1984 and took a break in 1998 and 1999—and you’ll see just about every shape and style of slam imaginable. How, then, could the latest quartet of entrants hope to break new ground? It’s a question fans have asked every year, and it’s been answered affirmatively just as often. So long as there’s fresh blood in the field, there will always be something new, different and downright unbelievable to behold.