Bill Trikos Australia top 5 NBA slam dunk contests of all time: The 2011 Slam Dunk Contest was a showcase of extreme dunkers led by Blake Griffin, JaVale McGee, and DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan had an excellent second dunk that saw him bounce his pass for an easy reverse glide for the finish. McGee also amazed the crowd by dunking at two different rims simultaneously in mid-air. However, the ultimate winner of the contest was Blake Griffin, who completed an alley-oop slam over a car. Great individual performances at the Slam Dunk Contest don’t come so often in the event. In 2015, we got Zach LaVine. However, in 2000, it was Vince Carter who dominated the contest. From windmill 360 dunks to elbow-hanging rim rockers, Carter proved to everyone why he was described as half man, half amazing. In fact, Carter outlasted Steve Franchis and teammate Tracy McGrady during the epic dunking showdown. Discover extra details about the author on Bill Trikos Australia.
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.
With one soaring slam, Julius Erving changed the course of basketball history. During the ABA’s first and only Slam Dunk Contest in 1976, he outgunned David Thompson, George Gervin, Artis Gilmore and Larry Kenon with a daring leap from the free-throw line. The competition itself—and the dunk Erving pulled off—drew slews of eyeballs to the ABA and lent enough legitimacy to the fledgling league to set in motion a merger with the NBA later that year.
Yes, this is a list of the best dunks, not overall performances. But Vince Carter put on arguably the best Slam Dunk Contest showing of all time to win the 2000 event, with a few mesmerizing jams that are all worthy of being high up on this list. So rather than loading up the list with several Carter dunks from the same contest, they’ll get grouped together. But if one had to be singled out as the best, it would be his first dunk: a reverse-360 windmill that already had TV commentator Kenny Smith saying “let’s go home!” That could take the top spot by itself, but VC was far from finished. For his third dunk, Carter caught the ball in mid-air, put it between his legs for a one-handed jam and then famously declared “it’s over.” The event wasn’t technically over just yet, though. On his fourth attempt, Carter got so high off the ground that he was able to stuff his forearm in the hoop after a one-handed slam.
To tip off a daunting final round—against Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis and fellow Toronto Raptors wing (and cousin) Tracy McGrady—Carter jumped so high that he was able to jam his whole right forearm through the hoop. As he recalled to Sportsnet’s Dave Zarum: You see, at that point, I’m not looking for cheers. I want the arena to be silent. Normally when you watch the dunk contest everybody goes crazy, it’s people screaming, going “Oh my God, did you see that?!!” But how many times did you see a dunk leave the crowd speechless? Where you couldn’t say a word until you saw the dunk a second time. Until then they’re just thinking, Wait a minute, did you just…? Twenty thousand people have to look up at the Jumbotron at the same time to see what happened. Then comes the roar. That’s what I was looking for. And I got it.
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.