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NBA Slam Dunk Contest Dunks

Sports | By The Top 13 on February 10, 2010

This Saturday night, some of the NBA's highest flyers will participate in the annual Slam Dunk Contest as part of the all-star weekend festivities in Dallas. Defending champion Nate Robinson will be looking to win his third title against a field including Gerald Wallace, Shannon Brown, and the dunk-in winner (either DeMar DeRozan or Eric Gordon). To get everyone in the mood for the competition, we present the Top 13 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Dunks.

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Jason Richardson

1

Jason Richardson

2003

Richardson, a 6'6" guard representing the Golden State Warriors, is one of five two-time winners of the Slam Dunk Contest. Here, Richardson amazed the crowd with an unbelievable, innovative jam, passing himself the ball from behind the three-point line, bringing it between his legs, and throwing down a ferocious one-handed lefty reverse. Former NBA point guard Kenny Smith, a fantastic dunker in his own right, said it all as he announced the competition: "I've seen something I’ve never seen before."

Nate Robinson

2

Nate Robinson

2006

On the twentieth anniversary of fellow Lilliputian dunker Spud Webb's remarkable victory in the dunk contest, 5'9" Knicks dynamo Robinson joined Webb in the fourteen-member perfect 50 club with a soaring one-handed jam that was assisted by – who else – Webb. Robinson took a high bounce pass from Webb and sailed clear over the former Hawk's head before slamming the ball home. Robinson went on to become a two-time champion three years later, when he jumped over the much bigger, though slightly hunched over, Dwight Howard.

Vince Carter

3

Vince Carter

2000

After a two-year layoff in which there was no dunk contest, Carter welcomed it back in a big way, dominating an impressive field that also included his cousin and teammate Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis. Carter, in his only appearance in the competition, nailed two perfect 50s, including this dunk, which many people believe is the best in the contest's history. Carter took a perfect bounce pass from McGrady, threaded it between his legs, and delivered an epic one-handed jam.

Michael Jordan

4

Michael Jordan

1988

The 1988 Slam Dunk Contest between Jordan and Dominique Wilkins gave us the best back-and-forth in the contest's history. Of all the dunks from that night, Jordan's wasn't the most original (Julius Erving did the same thing years earlier), but it certainly was the most memorable. Taking off from just a hair over the free throw line, Jordan seemingly floated to the hoop before pulling the ball back for a split second and nailing the one-handed jam. The dunk - one of Jordan's record seven perfect scores – gave him his second straight contest win.

Gerald Green

5

Gerald Green

2008

For our money, this is the most underrated dunk in the history of the Slam Dunk Contest. It's also unquestionably the most original dunk the contest has seen. A year after taking the title from Nate Robinson, Green placed a cupcake with a lit candle on the back of the rim, took a bounce pass from teammate Rashad McCants, and threw down what looked to be a pedestrian two-handed jam. Look more closely, however, and you'll see that Green actually blew the candle out before executing his dunk. Nevertheless, Dwight Howard and his Superman costume emerged victorious.

Jason Richardson

6

Jason Richardson

2004

Though a missed dunk attempt in the final round cost Richardson a chance to win his third straight Slam Dunk Contest (Indiana's Fred Jones emerged victorious), this dunk earlier in the competition was nearly as good as his 2003 dunk that tops this list. Richardson flung the ball against the backboard, caught it, pulled it down between his legs, and then one-handed it through the hoop from the side of the rim. Commentator Kenny Smith once again said it best: "Just when you think you’ve seen it all."

Dee Brown

7

Dee Brown

1991

Though certainly not the most difficult dunk on this list, Brown's originality and flair for the dramatic made this "peek-a-boo" jam among the most memorable. Covering his eyes with his right arm, the 6'1" Celtics guard still managed to deliver a perfectly executed one-handed jam with his left hand. Just before the dunk, Brown pumped up his Reebok sneakers to the delight of the crowd. The often imitated no-look dunk earned Brown a tight victory over Shawn Kemp in what would be his only appearance in the contest.

Spud Webb

8

Spud Webb

1986

Listed at a generous 5'7", Webb remains the shortest player to ever participate in the Slam Dunk Contest, let alone win it. And his diminutive size is what makes this dunk so amazing. Indeed, if the man he beat in the contest – his teammate Dominique Wilkins – had done it, nobody would remember it. But seeing the tiny Webb lob a long pass to himself and then throw down an authoritative reverse stunned the crowd and earned Webb a well-deserved perfect 50 to barely edge Wilkins in the final round. See the dunk at 1:11 of the video below.

Dwight Howard

9

Dwight Howard

2007

Though Howard's most famous Slam Dunk Contest jam is undoubtedly the one for which he donned a Superman cape en route to winning the 2008 competition, that dunk pales in comparison to what he did a year earlier. Taking a lob from Magic teammate Jameer Nelson, Howard slammed the ball with his right hand and pinned a sticker near the top of the backboard with his left hand. With Howard pointing at the sticker, Nelson pulled out a tape measure to see just how high his teammate jumped – the awe inspiring measurement was 12'6". Howard would get his revenge against 2007 winner Gerald Green the following year.

Andre Iguodala

10

Andre Iguodala

2006

Although the 6'6" 76ers swingman lost his only appearance in the competition in a tie-breaking dunk-off to Nate Robinson, his dunk was an absolute original and made him a member of the exclusive perfect 50 club. Iguodala took a behind the backboard pass from his teammate Allen Iverson, barely avoided hitting his head as he ducked underneath the backboard, and then slammed down a ferocious reverse dunk.

Vince Carter

11

Vince Carter

2000

Although Carter's dunk that appears third on the Top 13 is the one that most people remember from his Slam Dunk Contest win in 2000, this dunk that came a bit earlier in the final round of that competition is arguably just as impressive. Carter soared so high over the rim that after slamming the ball through the hoop, he literally hung from the rim by his elbow. This stunning aerial feat left the Oakland crowd in awe and had the television commentators asking for a time-out.

Amare Stoudemire

12

Amare Stoudemire

2005

The judges didn't give Stoudemire much credit for this dunk (he finished a distant second to Josh Smith), but this innovative take on the alley-oop had to have been one of the most difficult jams to pull off in Slam Dunk Contest history. Stoudemire tossed the ball off the backboard to his Suns teammate Steve Nash, who delivered a perfect soccer-style header to Stoudemire. Amare did the rest, executing a sizzling near-360 slam that brought the crowd to its feet and had the television announcers cheering "Steve Nash is the MVP."

Terence Stansbury

13

Terence Stansbury

1985 & 1987

Stansbury, who finished third in three straight dunk competitions, is perhaps the least known of the fourteen players who have scored a perfect 50; he did it three times. Though the 6'5" Stansbury threw down a number of amazing jams, he was at his best performing this amazing Statute of Liberty 360 dunk. Stansbury gracefully corkscrewed high over the rim and slammed the ball down with one hand. He deserved to win the contest at least once before leaving the NBA for a successful career in Europe.

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Comments Leave a comment

Buddah 

Really? No Stevie Franchise?

8:38 AM   Feb 10, 2010

jason ★★

Boom shakalaka!

10:11 AM   Feb 10, 2010

stillathreat ★★

I never realized how good of a dunker Jason Richardson is. Too bad all he does is shoot threes for the Suns. Great list, but you need some Harold Miner.

11:01 AM   Feb 10, 2010

oshoney 

these are great.

1:19 PM   Feb 10, 2010

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