NBA All-Star

Series: NBA All-Star Game [PART 3: Best of the Slam Dunk Contest]

Niala Samnarine

By Niala Samnarine

August 13, 2013

To recap we’ve given you Part 1 [Rookies] and Part 2 [Shooting Stars Competition], and we're not done! Today, we’re bringing you one of our favorite parts of NBA All-Star weekend: the Slam Dunk Contest.

The Slam Dunk contest is a fan favorite because it showcases the best NBA big men (and in some cases smaller men) throwing it down for the title of Slam Dunk champ. The contest has given us an array of firsts as well as some amazing, and memorable dunks. So sit back and get your scoring cards ready as we present our top 10 best slam dunk-ers of all time. Enjoy!

Best of the Slam Dunk Contest

10. Demar DeRozan: Reverse One-handed Windmill

Our reason for putting DeMar in at number 10 is because of the difficulty and execution of this dunk. An alley-oop to himself for the one-handed, reverse windmill dunk. I can’t even explain how crazy this dunk is. Not to mention, this was one of the most competitive dunk contests at NBA All-Star weekend ever. All of these factors earns DeRozan the #10 spot on our list. 

9. Jason Richardson: The Everything

Only Jason Richardson and Michael Jordan have won back to back Slam Dunk contests and for good reason. Jason Richardson is one of the most creative and powerful dunkers in the history of the game. His repertoire of dunks have been on display throughout his participation in the dunk contest, for those reasons he comes in at #9 on our list.

8. Dee Brown: No Look 

Okay, it’s hard enough for anyone to pull off a dunk with their eyes open. Brown did it eyes closed and that was enough to win him the contest and put him at #8 on our list. For further explanation, watch the video, and then watch it again! 

7. Dominique Wilkins: Windmill

A two-time winner and five-time participant in the Dunk Contest ‘The Human Highlight Reel’ could not be left off our list. The Jordan-Wilkins rivalry in the dunk contest is almost as famous as the contest itself. His amazing dunks over the years, and during the contests puts him at #7 on this list.  

BONUS: Wilkins was upset one year by 5'7" Spud Webb one of the league's best (and shortest) players. Check out his amazing dunks the year he won the title over Wilkins. 

6. Amare Stoudamire/ Steve Nash: Header, Alley-oop

Anyone who’s a fan of the Slam Dunk contest is no stranger to teammates lending an assist to the participants. This dunk and this duo in particular, sticks out to me as it embodies the cooperative nature of the NBA All-Star game and what the weekend is really about: fun, sportsmanship and teamwork. Having nailed those qualities lands this duo at #6.

5. JaVale McGee: Two Balls in Two Hoops

A dunk from our recent history, the often reserved McGee wowed the judges and the viewing audience in 2011 as he dunked not one but two balls into two different baskets, at the same time. At this point it’s basically a fact that all dunks that could be done, have been done. McGee gets major points for innovation and general throwing-it-down-ness and for those reasons has our #5 spot. 

4. Dwight Howard: Tap off the Glass, Behind the Basket Windmill

Dwight Howard is a showman through and through. His massive frame and strength can be seen nightly when he plays. His performances in both the 2007 and 2008 slam dunk contests showcased both of these attributes and lands him at number 4 for these entertaining, monster dunks (so awesome in fact that we needed to post two). Which is your favorite Howard Dunk?

BONUS: Krypto-Nate Robinson takes flight! One of our favorite dunks comes from a so-called NBA little man with an assist from #4 Dwight "Superman" Howard! 

3. Julius Irving: Free Throw Line Dunk

Dr. J did it first, and it can be argued he did it best. It’s hard to say if we would even have the dunk contest at the NBA All-Star Game without his innovation. His dunk from the free throw line was one of the first times a mass audience witnessed such a caliber dunk and it helped to popularize the contest. 

2. Michael Jordan: Jumpman

“Air Jordan” and “His Airness” or just MJ, whatever you call him, his free throw line dunk is one of the most iconic moments in basketball and a true testament to his athleticism and for that reason he settles in at #2. 

1. Vince Carter: Between the Legs, Honey dip, 360 Windmill

It wouldn’t be much of a dunk list without Air Canada. Vince Carter has a career filled with dunk highlights both in-game and during the Slam Dunk contest. Anyone who watched him throw it down live, or even saw the replay is still blown away by the athleticism and showmanship associated with his dunks, and for those reasons we have him at #1!

BONUS: Some argue that Blake Griffin’s Honey Dip ode to Vince Carter was an even better version than the original (we'll leave that up to you to decide.) Regardless, it was a monster slam and we’re bringing it to you as a bonus on our list. 

How’d we do on our list? Did we miss one of your favorite dunks? Share it in the comments below.

NBA All-Star game is more than just a game, it’s an entire weekend long spectacle that includes the Dunk Contest! Recent whispers have suggested that LeBron James may be participating next year and if that holds true, this is sure to be one of the greatest NBA All-Star weekends ever. Where will you be when the next Slam Dunk Contest winner is crowned? Let QuintEvents help you get there!


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