The NBA enters All-Star weekend after tonight and with that comes the Dunk Contest. We took a shot at ranking the five best events going into the weekend earlier this week, and ranked the dunk contest 5th. But let’s hop in the time machine and revisit the five best Dunk Contests in the event’s history.
Honorable Mentions- First though, with 30 years of contests now to look back on narrowing it to five was a difficult task. That’s why we’ll get three honorable mention contests out of the way first. Rapid fire here we go:
1991– One of the first year’s that the self lob pass really came to prominence, plus Dee Brown picked up the win and I have a soft spot for “small” guys who can dunk.
2009– The year of the Dwight Howard v. Nate Robinson duel. Highlights? Dwight dunking on an 11 foot rim, Nate jumping over Dwight in his green “Kryptonite” jersey.
2011– The last dunk contest I was excited for. Blake Griffin dunked over a car. That is all. Onto the top 5 we go!
5) 2003– Jason Richardson vs. Desmond Mason in the final. Mason pulled out the through the legs dunk that everybody with an adjustable rim has since tried to replicate at least once. Richardson topped by lobbing it to himself then going between the legs in reverse and finishing with one hand. How is this not higher? May be re-thinking this list.
4) 1985– Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins Round 1. This was only the second year of the contest and if you are under 40 you probably don’t think much of it or can’t remember it. Just take a look at the clips. This was the beginnings of everything that has transpired since.
3) 2008– Dwight Howard showing off never before seen athleticism for a near 7 footer. Gerald Green blew out the candle on a cupcake that was sitting on the back of the rim. As impressive as that was, Dwight came from behind the backboard, nearly hit his head on the bottom of it and threw it down with one hand.
2) 1988– Michael Jordan vs. Dominique Wilkins Round 2- Why is this so high? Because Jordan dunked from the free throw line twice. Something no one has been able to replicate since. And Nique? All he did was throw down a vicious dunk every chance he got.
1) 2000– This was the dunk contest that we’ve been trying to live up to ever since it happened. First off, star power in full supply with Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis and Vince Carter. CBSSports.com’s Zach Harper broke down this contest fully yesterday. Take a trip down memory lane and see just how much effort “Vinsanity” put into winning this contest.
Let’s hope that Saturday night is better than previous years. Or at the very least that the league has learned from last year’s format debacle. If you’re looking for a best performances list? Check this out see if you agree.