The NBA Slam Dunk Contest–now officially known as the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest for sponsorship purposes. Last year’s contest saw Anfernee Simons topping the judge’s scorecards. Now enter the 37th edition of the contest which sets everyone up for another impressive showcase of the best dunk performances in the league. Just a few days to go before the All-Star Weekend gets the show on the road. But before a new winner gets crowned, NitroBetting goes over the five greatest Slam Dunk Contests in history.
Top 5 Best NBA Slam Dunk Contests Ever
5. Dee Brown (1991)
The 90’s dunking era focused more on tactical ability over anything else. There is no fan participation, quirky antics, or gimmicks during this time. However, fans witnessed innovation from the 6-foot-1 Celtics Dee Brown in 1991. The Celtics guard combined skills and a unique take on his very own down. He got the crowd going by showcasing his Reebok Pumps before winding up for his dunk. Brown then executed a no-look dunk that got the crowd on its feet. Not only did his dunk impress fans, but it also shed more light on the sneakers as they gained popularity in the country.
4. Spud Webb (1986)
At 5-foot-7-inches, Spud Webb is the shortest player to take part in an NBA Slam Dunk Contest. But for all that, the then Atlanta Hawks guard brandished his amazing vertical leap of over 42 inches. He was up against heavy hitters like Dominique Wilkins and Terence Stansbury in the 1986 contest. Webb produced a superhuman jam that snatched Wilkins’ chance of back-to-back titles. It was a 360 slam that sealed the deal for Spud Webb. It was an obvious choice for the judges as Spud Webb defied the impossible while taking down one of the greatest showmen in the league.
3. Zach LaVine (2016)
Zach LaVine had some competition with Aaron Gordon on the floor in the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest. The two-man showdown is written in history books as one of the best. Both brought flair to Toronto that same weekend and delivered explosive dunks left and right. On top of that, LaVine and Gordon executed the dunks flawlessly. Some argue that Gordon was the winner of the contest, but the majority are thankful for what the two brought to the table that night.
2. Michael Jordan (1988)
His Airness performed quite possibly the most iconic dunk in the entire world. He did this in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest up against heavy hitters such as Dominique Wilkins and Clyde Drexler. The iconic image of MJ dunking from the free-throw line displayed his explosiveness and another angle to his showmanship. It was a rare sight for fans to see the GOAT up in the air with a creative touch, so it was a fresh take on MJ’s dunking prowess. This marked his second and final Slam Dunk victory in his decorated career as a professional.
1. Vince Carter (2000)
Vince Carter enchanted the crowd with one of our favorite Slam Dunk performances in history. Y2K started on a high note after Vinsanity put together a between-the-legs dunk, the first example of a honey dip, and the unforgettable 360 windmill dunk that assured him of the trophy. The trio of dunks was revolutionary to the sport then. This is the level of performance that NBA players try to achieve when taking part in the contest. At the end of it all, Vince Carter still holds that throne.
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