Blogtable: Favorite Dunk Contest Dunk?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 16: All-time favorite Dunk Contest dunk? | On LeBron’s hot streak … | Winning it all without a star


What stands out as your favorite all-time Dunk Contest dunk?

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Steve Aschburner: I’m going with my pick of the most neglected, underappreciated dunk in Slam Dunk contest history. When Andre Iguodala came from back amongst the photographers on the baseline on one of his throwdowns in Houston in 2006, the geometry seemed impossible. Somehow, as a helper bounced the ball off the back of the backboard, Iguodala grabbed the carom, ducked his head to avoid the both the glass and any support bars and dunked from behind the board. It was stunning, and remarkable that he didn’t slam-head-dunk-himself. The Sixers’ young forward had two other terrific dunks, including a windmill in which he passed the ball behind his back … and he came away with nothing. That was one of the years in which people were fascinated with Nate Robinson‘s little-man theatrics, which meant sitting through about 20 straight misses (yawn) till he got a big one right. Said it then and I’ll say it again: Iggy was robbed.

Fran Blinebury: I’ve seen them all in person since Larry Nance upset Dr. J in the first back in 1984 at Denver. Michael Jordan beating Dominique Wilkins at Chicago in 1988 was spectacular. Vince Carter putting his elbow on the rim in 2000 in Oakland was awesome. But I had the best seat in the house —  front row courtside, straight out from the free throw line — at Dallas in 1986 and 5-foot-7 Spud Webb was simply breathtaking. He started by slamming a backwards dunk so hard that ball went through the net and bounced off his head. He did a pair of 360s and a double-clutch, two-hander. Then he finally took down Dominique in the finals by bouncing the ball just inside the free throw line and off the glass, catching it in his right hand and slamming it home.  One of the photos from Sports Illustrated shows his feet even with referee Wally Rooney‘s chest. Air Spud. I can still see the little guy flying.

Jeff Caplan: I just ran into Dominique Wilkins the other night and he’s not all that fond of this year’s dunk contestants. Nothing against the guys personally, but he’d like to see some bigger names go at it like back in the day. So, I’m going way back to the Human Highlight Film’s windmill dunks because, frankly, I think he’s the one that introduced the windmill dunk or at least elevated it to an artform converging out-of-this-world athletic, finesse and raw power. So which windmill dunk? After all, Wilkins is a two-time dunk champ and probably should have won one or two more considering he was in five of them. Anyway, I’ll take Niques’ two-handed windmill jam that earned him the ’85 title in a showdown with Michael Jordan, who, by the way, brought out the rock-the-cradle jam.

Scott Howard-Cooper: If we’re talking NBA dunk contest, that leaves out the great Julius Erving-David Thompson moment at halftime in Denver in the ABA days. In the orange-ball world, I’ll go with Blake Griffin redefining the term carhop. So much hype had built through the season about Blake Superior and his dunk arsenal that it seemed there was nothing he could do step up to the moment. And then he did. The car, Baron Davis with the assist, the choir — pure theater. It was way over the top, but what the event needed after years of losing excitement.

John Schuhmann: There’s something — the power, really — about Dominique Wilkins‘ dunks that gets me fired up. My favorite in-game dunk might be the time he destroyed Larry Bird on a fast break, and my favorite dunk contest dunk was his two-handed windmill (8:20 mark here) in the finals of the 1988 contest in Chicago. He got up high, he brought the ball all the way around from left to right, and he almost tore down the rim. Elevation, finesse and oh, the power. We’ve seen more difficult dunks since then, but I’ll always think of ’88 as the best dunk contest ever, because it was two stars going head to head and just thinking up stuff on the fly. Nique did a variety of windmills that night, but the two-hander was the highlight. That the judges gave him a 45 (to open the door for Jordan to win on the final dunk) was pretty ridiculous.

Sekou Smith: “You’re going to a reunion of all the JET Beauty of the Week superstars of the past 40 years. Give me your favorite?” It’s an impossible question given all of the options. Being the lover of hang time that I am, it’s hard to ignore the icons of the contest (Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Dr. J). But as far as anticipation and delivery, I’d have to go with Vince Carter’s work in the 2000 contest. It was a rebirth for the contest, after a two year layoff, and an introduction to a new breed of dunk champ. Vince was the first guy I saw in the contest that took me back to MJ and ‘Nique. His first dunk, that 360 windmill with the cuff, was just plain wicked. Made me love the dunk contest all over again.

61 Comments

  1. Vincent Van Genechten says:

    I don’t understand how anyone can not take Vince Carter’s air show in 2000. I mean, his series of dunks were off the charts and really out of this world. Mike and Nique’s duel was awesome, Dr J. was great and J-Rich delivered but individually no one can top Vince. My favorite dunk of him remains his off the bounce between the legs dunk. His 360 windmill was amazing and a close second here, but the between the legt plus the pose…just wowed me.

    And for SHC picking Blake Griffin…Get lost. Blake didn’t even win it fairly. DeMar DeRozan rocked that contest but the fans chose Blake. Too bad.

  2. Jonjon says:

    Vince carter is the greatest dunker of all time dont be stupid blkes dunk was just hype Kenny smith hype that dunk up so much just like Nba Live great presentation but results are sub standard

  3. Andrew says:

    All time fav dunk would be the Vince carter under the leg dunk

  4. Filp says:

    igoudalas dunk and any dunk that demarr derozan did because he got robbed twice and the idiot who said jermey evans two ball dunk is a moron

  5. Crazygirl992 says:

    they should remove fan voting for all-star starters and fan voting for dunk champ and in return make it so the fans can vote who is in the skills challange, dunk contest, and 3pt shootout… maybe leave one spot for the Commity who does this now to choose ONE guy they want since they obvisously don’t have the same tastes as everyone else lol….

  6. Kamote says:

    The epic battle between MJ and Wilkins would be on the list. So was Spudd Webb winning the contest.

    But the best for me was Vince Carter’s win. No gimmicks/theatrics like superman cape, jumping over another person (using your forearm), jumping over a small car’s hood (seriously???) or stuff like that. Its just sheer athleticism by this this man when he was young. He dominated that contest, but take note that the opponents weren’t easy with TMac, Francis and Stackhouse. He was just amazing back then, even beating out Wilkins tomahawk (he did it while doing a 360) and MJ’s freethrow dunk (he did it with 2 hands).

  7. funnyNBA says:

    vince carter… the best dunker of all time… before it was all talents no costume, no car needed, no mr.postman… its all skills and showmanship before those circus clowns ruined the contest

  8. DG3 says:

    I’ll probably go with Desmond Masons bounce and under the leg dunk that also led to Jason Richardson’s backwards under the leg dunk. A lot of people forget that dunk contest but it was a sick contest as well. Of course I would put the 2000 dunk contest and ‘Nique vs MJ and Spud Webb up there as well.

  9. Deron says:

    The dunk contest has grown stale and disinteresting. They need to change it now. I havent watched the Dunk contest since the superstars stopped performing in it.

  10. j18 says:

    VC hands down..

  11. willie says:

    VC’s elbow dunk, best of all-time! i agree with steve aschburner, iggy was robbed! that behind the board dunk is the most difficult of all time, and iggy made it. JR rider’s between the legs. are my faves…. special mention to kenny smith’s dunk from the free-throw line in 1990 and serge ibaka’s in flight dunk being the farthest of all-time.

    BG’s dunk and nate robinson’s dunk off vs iggy are the most overrated dunks ever.

  12. Quinton says:

    I think Vince Carter’s 360 windmill was the best. Half the 360′s that were done were actually 180′s. Vince Carter was probably the best. People keep saying why the Big Names, such Lebron participate… just because you dont recognize the name does’nt mean the contestants are not good. Gerald Green was in the dunk contest before and he did an exceptional job, Terrence Ross is a good dunker and definitely James White.

  13. ism says:

    SPUD
    VINCE
    M.J.

    !

    Grace, mid-air-posture and timing = not only athleticism, but, even more: show and illusion.
    It’s not about how hard you slam it down, but about how hard-slammed you make it look.
    No one comes to mind that can parallel those three up there, at least not consistently. Not Nique, not Griffin… and, seriously, jumping over that car and winning was the most boring and predictable thing ever. Ibaka’s FT-line take off was the highlight of that dunk contest by a long shot, before Griffin’s stuff. No offense, he’s great, but I prefer his in-game explosive poster dunks over insert name here.

  14. lakermig says:

    VINCE CARTER… nuff said.

    And also if you look at blake griffins car jump it really isnt much of a car jump at all. he jumps over the hood of the car and not even he pretty much is no where near the car its all for show.

  15. Ors says:

    Vinsanity…Carters performance was far the best…and no one could beat him even today. BG-s over hood was just a commercial thing, That year should’ve won DeRozan. In Europe, we had a player – Marko Milic, find his dunk over a car. He was the first. And he’s 6`6 not 6´10. If u wanna see Greens and White’s competition, find their dunk contest in russia ))) that was something.

  16. Drusdi says:

    Dwight Howard’s Tip-off-the-backboard!

  17. King says:

    I vote big stars in the dunk contest again!! How great would a dunk contest with Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Terrence Ross (the rookie pick) be? I know I’d watch it

  18. Mantas says:

    J-Rich reverse between the legs, that was something amazing!!!!

  19. bfG says:

    JR Smith’s behind the back

  20. wooderson says:

    jason richardson, nate robinson also

  21. wooderson says:

    no props neeed. vince carters windmills, iguodalas behind the rim, demar derozens show stopper

  22. Pedro says:

    This year’s contestants should be:
    Demar DeRozan
    Blake Griffin
    LeBron James
    Russel Westbrook
    Shanon Brown (he still has it IMHO)

  23. borderlineinsane says:

    LOL’d @ Scott Howard-Cooper’s pick. Desmond Mason and Shawn Kemp (although he lost to Dee Brown) had better dunks than Blake Griffin.

  24. About Griffin's over the hood of the car says:

    About Blake Griffin and his over-the-car dunk – Marko Milič did it in 1997

    Blake Griffin VS Marko Milic Car Dunk:

    at the end of the tape is missing second (succesfull) atempt which you can see here at 5 min and change:

    Griffin jumped over the hood, more than a decade later, but he had to catch the ball though. He succeded in one try while Milič had two. And the theatrics are greater with Griffin as well.

  25. Burtimawr says:

    Vincent Lamar Carter..Greatest Dunker Of All Time!!

  26. john says:

    this is a no brainer vince carter dunk contest is the best of all time

  27. Joe Cross says:

    Jason Richardson is the best Slam Dunker ever. he is the most underrated dunker ever. VC is the ebst dunker ever but JRich is the best Slam dunker ever hands down

  28. will says:

    are you serious??? no VINCE CARTER 360 WINDMILL???

  29. Nkzvijer says:

    Orlando Woolridge did the first Between the Legs Dunk in 1984, not Isaiah Rider. Sad to see this on NBA official blog

  30. Nicholas says:

    Kenny “Sky” Walker, for me… Power & grace in a windmill dunk.

  31. Once upon a time T-Mac says:

    Vince Carter reverse 360. Paul George did reverse 360 lights out, so it was great and I think he should have won, but Vince Carter… man, he has something special.
    And I think this year will be insane! Gerald Green and Flight White will make some hell of a dunks! This one actually can compete with 2000 Dunk Contest.

  32. 4dawyn says:

    DeMar DeRozan – 1st dunker who got robbed twice in the slam dunk competition.

  33. ray says:

    vince carter eblow in the rim is still legend are made from.

  34. GW says:

    No love for Isiah Rider? First in between the legs dunk, remember seeing that as a 9yo old kid and almost giving my dad a heart attack from my reaction. But overall wall of work cant go past MJ and Vinsanity

  35. LBJ4MVP says:

    WTF Scott Howard-Cooper! blake griffin’s dunk over the hood of a car was the best? over hyped! it wasn’t even deserving for nod at all. lamest dunk i’v see. so overrated!

    anyways, i’ll go with VINCE CARTER 360 windmill dunk, J-RICH ball toss, between-the-leg reverse dunk. MJ’s free throw line dunk.

  36. Robert says:

    I know this is an opinion question…but Howard-Cooper, the BG Car-Hop? Really?

  37. Karlo Garcia says:

    Jeremy Evans 2 ball dunk last year in Orlando.

  38. vany says:

    blake didnt even jump a car it was just the hood of the car so it was weak

  39. jack says:

    paul george all day

  40. Reality says:

    Jason Richardson was pretty sick!

    But I must say im PISSED!!!

    I want some real stars in the dunk off, atleast one from each confrence because thats what it’s all about.
    LeBron, your incredible and im a fan but wtf dude… Do the dunk off before your to old… please for us… ur fans, the reason for your pay cheque. All of us are dieing to see what you can do and you owe it to basketball to do so and you know that! All the great athletic stars gave atleast one try(Dr.J, Nique, MJ, Vince, Kobe, T-Mac, Griffin, etc…) heck even Brent Barry did it and he won lol.

    You may end up nbeing one of the Greatest players of all time but you will certainly have dissapointed your loving fans and the basketball universe!!!!

    Mr. LeBron James, PLease Do The Dunk Off Atleast Once!

    • LA Dwight says:

      what’s disappointing is not the fact that lebron won’t compete in the contest but it’s him saying he would then begging off when the time came. a lot of the stars say it’s all for the fans.. is it really?

      • Jason says:

        If Lebron was in the dunk contest they should take out fan voting

      • Reality says:

        True… that was a shame.. a real shame

        And its not just for the fans its for him self, Jordan did it so he could say I am the best at Dunking, same with the others.

        He Can do it for charity donating a certain amount if he wins… i dunno but he should do it but he is being a jerk about it.

        But above that i think a rule should be made that There hast to be 1 All-Star from each confrence must compete in the dunk off.

        It keeps it exciting and the fans get into it.

  41. milosz says:

    Desmond Mason had the finest dunks ever

  42. Steve Colburn says:

    Best All Star Dunk Contest dunk of all time? No contest! The very first dunk contest was an unsanctioned one at the 1975 ABA All Star game in San Antonio, when the high flying ABA All Stars featuring Dr. J, Artis, Moses, the infamous Marvin Barnes, et al created this enduring legacy simply because they wanted to. In front of me and 10,448 other crazies, Dr. J, then at his physical peak, accelerated from the far corner holding a ball in each hand. Taking off from – ooh -about the half court line (it’s my memory and there is no video to prove it wrong!), Julius flew through the air as he slowly twisted his body. Arriving high above the rim with his back to the hoop, he slammed down two tomahawks, one over each shoulder and gracefully landed facing the adoring crowd.

    You got a better one? I think not!

  43. slider821 says:

    Did scott-howard-cooper seriously just say the best dunk was Blakes Kia marketing event last year? That was the lamest dunk I’ve ever seen. Wow, SHC’s credentials should be revoked for a comment like that.

    • Carlos says:

      Disgusting. How am I supposed to take anything Scott Howard-Cooper says seriously after a comment like that? Did he not see any of the other dunks? Is he being paid to hype up BG or something? I don’t understand… Not reading anything by him anymore..

      • PetrGSW says:

        Agreed, Blake has like one or two better dunk’s than that every game, that was just bull…. But going back to what Dominique said, what happened to the dunk contest? Why cant Lebron, Blake and some other athletic stars take on one or two less known dunkers like it used to be? NBA trying to hype up theese new guys? Can Blake not think of annything else than what he did two years ago? Is Bron scared of loosing to some unknown rookie? Dunno, and honestly dont even care, till they bring the stars back to it the dunk contest will remain boring.

    • Geez says:

      hahaha…..I actually did something I hate to see other people do…..I posted this sentiment right after the first comment I saw, just to make sure it would be read again and again. Usually I don’t like it when there is a reply to the 1st comment that doesn’t really have anything to do with said comment. But the guy said “Blake” so I just ran with it. Then I scroll down and find this lil’ diddy and can now have 2 posts expressing my own disbelief at howard-cooper’s choice. Interestingly, I side with the Schuhmann post right after him. Nique’s two-handed windmill. That had everything I look for: Power, Grace, Style, Level of difficulty, Extension!!

  44. Big Euro says:

    A very interesting debate. I will go with Vinsanity in 2000. I have never had my breath taken away by a dunker like that. Detractors of his showmanship will say there was no rivalry factor. The truth is, no NBA player could have rivaled him that day. Franchise, T-Mac, Stack, they all turned up to compete for 2nd place.

    He utilized all the core exhibition dunks. Between the legs, windmill, self-toss and gave them his own unique flair. He is the greatest dunker of all time.

    P.s. Shout out to J-Rich too. Phenomenal dunks, but he didn’t quite put peeps in their place like No15 of the Raptors did.

    • Ben says:

      THANK YOU finally someone mentions J Rich! Perhaps not the all time greatest but the ferociousness of his dunks made me gasp as I’ve very rarely done before…and since

  45. zgillet says:

    Hands down, Vince Carter’s reverse 360 windmill.

    • Thirromar says:

      absolutely this ^^. against the grain, 360, full extension in the right arm for a full windmill. never seen that done before, nor will we probably ever see anyone capable of that again, at least not with that much skill or flash. Everyone of his dunks were incredible. and yes he stepped inside the free throw line on the last one, but he went the entire way with both hands on the ball.

  46. LA Dwight says:

    a lot of the dunks in recent years won’t make it for me. as great a leaper blake griffin is, he has competed in the age of props and hype. pure athleticism isn’t boring. jordan and wilkins were just real artists. while webb’s ability to leap was just unreal. when these guys dunked, they needed no theatrics. it was all on them. on the issue of bigger names? lebron is just a disappointment.

    • Geez says:

      OK, not many people can do what Blake can do…..but I can’t believe howard-cooper can even consider that dunk the best dunk. Seriously, SMFH.