Most spectacular NBA slam dunk contests of all time from Bill Trikos Australia: The 2020 slam dunk contest was a neck-and-neck affair, combined with a little sprinkle of nostalgia. Dwight Howard paid homage to his victory at the 2008 Slam Dunk contest. But more importantly, he also gave a nod to former Slam Dunk contest winner and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant. But in the battle for dunking supremacy, after registering 50-point dunks, both Derrick Jones and Aaron Gordon faced off. Unfortunately, the Dunk Contest championship remained elusive for Gordon as Jones tallied the better the dunk by scoring 48-47 in the final frame. Find additional info about the author at https://au.linkedin.com/in/bill-trikos.
It’s not easy to talk about the best dunk contest of all time. If anything, the Slam Dunk Contest has often been the cherry on top of the sundae and the most-awaited event of All-Star Weekend. Or at least, that’s how it used to be back in the day. This event has given us some of the top dunks in NBA history. Superstars used to go toe-to-toe against each other to prove who the top-notch dunker in the league was. But now, they try to preserve their bodies and don’t participate in this event, leaving it for up-and-coming, lesser-known players.
“I was trying to think of something to improvise,” he said, per the New York Daily News’ Fred Kerber. “I saw [teammate] Brad Sellers in the stands and some friends standing on the sidelines. They were all confused [about what dunk to try]. “Then I saw the man, Dr. J., who got it all started.” By paying respect to his predecessor, Jordan not only assured himself of a dunk title in Chicago but also avenged his 1985 loss to Wilkins and launched the Legend of the Jumpman into the stratosphere with one of the contest’s most iconic images.
Dee Brown put the expression “I can do it with my eyes closed” to the test in 1991. The then-Boston Celtics rookie had already secured the 1991 event title ahead of his final attempt, but he wasn’t aware of that. So after Brown jumped toward the rim, he closed his eyes and covered them with his right arm while dunking with his left. How’s that for a cherry on top? Superman made an appearance at the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest. After ditching his Magic jersey for a Superman shirt and cape, Dwight Howard jumped from a couple of feet inside in the free throw line, caught a pass that was thrown over the backboard by teammate Jameer Nelson and literally chucked the ball through the hoop. If Howard had actually reached the rim, it would be the undisputed greatest dunk in event history. Despite it not technically being a dunk, Howard still received a 50 and went on to win the competition.
During the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest in Charlotte, North Carolina, the then-Boston Celtics guard took off from inside the paint and dunked over his head with his left hand. The catch? He covered his eyes with his right arm, thereby popularizing—if not inventing—the no-look dunk. Brown has since said that by putting his face in his elbow pit, he inspired the “Dab” dancing trend that took off 25 years later. Whether that’s the case is unclear. What’s easier to discern, though, is that Brown’s blind finish, which others have since imitated in the Slam Dunk Contest, was at once groundbreaking and vital to his eventual victory over Seattle SuperSonics slam artist Shawn Kemp.
The Slam Dunk Contest has been one of the most exciting and electrifying events of NBA All-Star Weekend since it debuted back in 1984. There have been several signature moments that are unforgettable in NBA history, ranging from battles between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in the 1980s, to highflyers like Vince Carter taking center stage in the 2000s, to historic showdowns featuring Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon in the 2010s. The Slam Dunk Contest has undoubtedly lost its luster over the last few years, with fewer superstars taking part in the event and contestants running out of original ideas that haven’t already been done. That’s why we’re taking a trip down memory lane to remember and honor the glory days of the event, ranking the 10 best perfect scores over the years.
Topping the last two years of the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest will be a tall order for 2017’s contestants. Aaron Gordon, who pushed Zach LaVine to the brink in Toronto last year, will be the odds-on favorite to finish on top at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. However, he’ll have plenty of competition from one longtime contest target (DeAndre Jordan) and a pair of relative unknowns (Glenn Robinson III and Derrick Jones Jr.).