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Top 10 Slam Dunk Contest Dunks of All-Time
10. Spud Webb 1986
Looking at Spud Webb’s dunks at face value does his performance no justice. His dunks may not bring down the house in today’s standards. But considering Webb’s only 5-foot-7(!), then his dunks become even more impressive.
9. Isaiah Rider 1994
When Jason Richardson won the 2003 Slam Dunk Contest with the East Baby Funk Dunk, he had to thank Isaiah Rider for bringing life to the iconic dunk As a rookie, Rider did the East Baby Funk Dunk in front of his hometown fans in Minneapolis. His between the legs dunk was the first time the acrobatic dunk was ever completed. Ride on in the memories of dunk fans, Rider.
8. Nate Robinson 2009
In 2009, Dwight Howard donned a Superman cape, moved the hoop up to 12-feet, and then depressed the audience with a garbage dunk. All that hype and then that was the payoff. The audience was not pleased after getting their hopes up so high. Enter little Nate Robinson!
The 5’9 former Washington Husky brought the crowd to their feet with this insane over-the-Dwight dunk, that took the ’09 contest to another level. Not only did he throw down the wicked dunk, but he did it in style. The little dance after was nice, but the “kryptonite” green Knicks giddup, kicks and ball was the icing on the cake. It helped lead Nate to his second of three Dunk Contest championships.
We’re willing to admit, he may have used Howard’s back a tiny bit. Still a wicked throw down though.
7. Jason Richardson 2003
Jason Richardson is a beast to his own right and is easily one of the best participants in the history of the Slam Dunk Contest. He won’t just hammer thunderous dunks to impress viewers and the judges; he’d also turn heads with his creativity and originality. Richardson’s best dunk is easily the East Baby Funk. He bounces the ball off the backboard, catches it in the air, puts it in between his legs and pounds the rim with ferocity.
6. Kenny “Sky” Walker 1989
One of the greatest dunk contest winner nicknames of all-time – Kenny “Sky” Walker. “Sky” Walker won the 1989 contest, not only because of his finesse in the air, but the authority behind it. He threw down like a mad man on a mission. His dunks looked so amazing in mid-air, that for the rest of the year compression short sales spiked in the greater NYC area.
Where else would you see a 6’8 man with compression shorts under booty shorts, sky through the air to throw down pure tenacity? Thank you NBA. You were the crown jewel of the 80’s.
5. Zach Levine 2015
We watched the AND1 mixtapes for years, always wondering “Why can’t one of these guys make it in the show?”
Well, we finally have a kid with the AND1 finesse that can throw down like a young Harold Miner in the show. Levine stormed the 2015 dunk contest in Brooklyn with sick dunk after sick dunk. Playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves can’t be easy. When you can still bring a crowd to it’s feet at any given time in that jersey though, you know you’re doing something right. Zach Levine will be a name to know in dunk circles (if there is such a thing) for years to come.
4. Vince Carter 2000
Where did the 360 dunk come from? Vince Carter! In his first ever attempt at the historic 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, Carter pulled off the first ever reverse 360 dunk in history. But there’s more to it. Not only did he do a reverse 360 turn, he also windmilled the ball! Simply amazing.
3. Dominique Wilkins 1988
Nobody gets more intimidating than Dominique Wilkins. He stands at 6-foot-8 and has monstrous power to boot. He could even jump a mile high if you’d wish. Wilkins took part in a historic Slam Dunk Contest against none other than His Airness himself in 1988. He tossed the ball high off the backboard, caught it well above the box and slammed it down hard into the rim.
2. Michael Jordan 1988
Nowadays, His Airness is dominating the internet due to the Crying Jordan meme. But 28 years ago, Michael Jordan made history in the finals of the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest. This dunk was done before, and plenty more after. But this dunk remains the most iconic just because Jordan did it. Jordan threw down a double-clutch dunk from the free-throw line with power and grace. It will forever live on as one of the greatest dunks of all-time. It also became the Air Jordan symbol.
1. Vince Carter 2000
Yes, we mentioned his name once already. Air Canada deserves one more shout out though. The dunk that capped off the 2000 contest will also be the one that caps off our list. The famous Vince Carter “It’s Over” slam.
He takes the alley off the bounce from Tracy McGrady, goes between the legs and throws it down with frustration. It’s a damn marmalade of a jam, and in this writer’s opinion, it’s the best of all-time.
Create a betting account now and lay down some cash on who you think takes home the next slam dunk crown.
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