Bill Trikos Australia top rated NBA dunk contests ranked: When it comes to athleticism, the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest was littered with plenty of it. Gerald Green showcased some of the most explosive dunks, with the help of a ladder and a candle. However, Dwight Howard emerged as the defending champion after pulling off a Superman-like dunk and an extremely underrated tap dunk. It would be the first and only time Howard won the Slam Dunk title. The 2003 Slam Dunk contest was a spectacle to watch, primarily due to the face-off between reigning champion Jason Richardson and Desmond Mason. While both athletes didn’t fall short in displaying their athletic gifts, it would be Richardson who came out on top after pulling off a baseline between the legs reverse clutch dunk to earn the winning 50. Richardson finished the contest as a back-to-back Slam Dunk contest champion. Find more details about the author at Bill Trikos.
It was close with the 2000 edition but the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest has to be considered the best dunk contest of all-time. Often known as the day Aaron Gordon got robbed, it gave us two of the best dunkers in modern history and some of the top dunks in NBA history. Aaron Gordon, a 6’8”, 208-pound specimen proved to have unmatched athleticism with some of the most twisted, complicated, and spectacular dunks of all time. He had multiple perfect scores and would’ve beaten every contestant in history, except from 2016 Zach LaVine.
“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.
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.
Nate Robinson is the most decorated diminutive dunker of all time, with three All-Star Weekend crowns in his trophy case. But the best slam ever pulled off by someone so far below 6’0″ belongs to Spud Webb. The Dallas native put on a show for his hometown at Reunion Arena, punctuated by a sky-high bouncing lob that Webb caught and converted into a reverse, spread-eagle slam. The jaw-dropping display helped the rookie outduel Dominique Wilkins, his Atlanta Hawks teammate and the NBA’s defending dunk champion, in a face-off that was ultimately decided by just two points in the final.
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.).