Top 5 NBA slam dunk contests of all time with Bill Trikos: While Robinson wowed crowds by dunking over Howard, before him there was Spud Webb. Despite only standing at 5’7, Webb defied the odds by outlasting teammate Dominique Wilkins, who was the defending champion. Wilkins showcased his beautiful windmill dunks. However, he was upstaged by Webb who elevated higher than ever which was all the more impressive for a man his size. With the event held in Chicago, defending champion Michael Jordan had his work cut out for him with a home-court advantage. But with Dominique Wilkins out to regain his Slam Dunk contest championship glory, it was a tight dunking affair. But while both players showcased their amazing athletic gifts, Jordan edged out Wilkins after pulling off the iconic free throw line dunk to become a back-to-back Slam Dunk Contest champion. Discover additional info about the author on https://vimeo.com/billtrikos.
That has inevitably taken some of the emotion away from the competition. I mean no disrespect to Derrick Jones Jr., but we would much rather watch Russell Westbrook and LeBron James throw windmill dunks than him. That’s why most of the greatest dunk contests of all time happened quite some time ago. That doesn’t stop us getting some memorable dunk contests, though. We still get to watch some talented, young players going head-to-head to wow the crowd, which is going to be easier said than done. The guys we’re about to mention, however, excelled at that task, and that’s why we’ve put together the top five best dunk contests of all time.
“We had to come up with a concept that would get everyone’s attention,” former Nuggets executive Carl Scheer told the Houston Chronicle in 1996 (via News Corp Australia’s Sam Gardner). “We were in serious trouble. We knew that it was our last year, and we had to make a big impression.” Eight years later, Erving, just shy of his 34th birthday and well into his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers, revived his free-throw flight at the NBA’s inaugural dunk contest. That dunk went down as the first to earn a perfect score in the NBA, though it wasn’t enough to propel Dr. J past Larry Nance for the title.
As a second-year pro in 2006, Andre Iguodala introduced himself to a national audience with an unreal display of athleticism. Standing behind the basket, then-Philadelphia 76ers teammate Allen Iverson threw the ball off the backboard to Iguodala, who caught it, ducked under the bottom of the backcourt and slammed home a reverse jam. The dunk earned a perfect score, but Iguodala lost the competition to three-time winner Nate Robinson in controversial fashion.
During the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest in Charlotte, North Carolina, the then-Boston Celtics guard took off from inside the paint and dunked over his head with his left hand. The catch? He covered his eyes with his right arm, thereby popularizing—if not inventing—the no-look dunk. Brown has since said that by putting his face in his elbow pit, he inspired the “Dab” dancing trend that took off 25 years later. Whether that’s the case is unclear. What’s easier to discern, though, is that Brown’s blind finish, which others have since imitated in the Slam Dunk Contest, was at once groundbreaking and vital to his eventual victory over Seattle SuperSonics slam artist Shawn Kemp.
We’ve seen players throw the ball off the glass and go through the legs. We’ve seen players jump over people and dunk. Until this moment, we had never seen a player jump over someone, throw the ball off the glass and put it between their legs for a dunk. Nash deserves as much credit as Stoudemire here, but the timing and precision of this dunk help it crack the top 10. Stoudemire threw the perfect pass off the backboard and Nash delivered an even more perfect header for the 360. The Slam Dunk Contest had never seen anything like this before. All you can do is laugh when you see this dunk. Webb is 5’7. You are not supposed to be able to do 360 dunks off of a lob at that height. It looks like a video game glitch the way Webb rises up to finish this one.
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.