The 10 Best Dunks in the History of the NBA All-Star Dunk Contest
Best of the best.
Aaron Gordon’s epic Mascot dunk at the 2016 All-Star Dunk Contest. came across my Instagram feed earlier this week and it got me thinking how the hell did he not even win that year?
So I went back through and re-watched the event, along with a few more, and the next thing you know I’m back in 1986 watching Spud Webb pop off the hardwood like something out of 2k. Naturally, after just reliving decades of hops, I had to sit down and rank the best of the best. It was tough. There were a lot of unforgettable dunks, insane attempts and mind blowing finishes. Trying to get it down to just 10 was quite the challenge.
But, after hours and hours of deliberation and painful list cutting, I’ve put together my definitive Top Ten Dunks in the History of the NBA All-Star Dunk Contest, starting with:
10. DeMar DeRozan: “Showstopper”
Sure, DeMar’s first dunk took about 10 attempts to nail, bit we forgot about that fast with this filthy slam. As always, real-time does it no justice, so watch it out in slow-mo for full effect.
9. Andre Igoudala: Behind-the-Basket Reverse
Even the name sounds difficult as hell. Bonus points for a feature from teammate Allen Iverson, throwing up the lob off the backboard. Iggy jumped so high he had to duck his head before slamming it home.
8. Jason Richardson: Off the Backboard, Through the Legs
J-Rich was known for his epic dunks over two years in the contest, but none were better or more technical than this. Un-fucking-believe-able.
7. Michael Jordan: Free-Throw Line
Yeah, it wasn’t 1988 in the White Cement 3 that we saw this dunk first, it was actually the year prior. Its the former that added clout to Mike’s ever-growing aura. And while the ’88 dunk gets more credit, this is more iconic — even if he only got a 49.
Editors Note: I don’t know who’s video this is, but they’ve used the 1988 dunk for the cover image.
6. Spud Webb: Pop off the Court
Look, we know were sticking to singular dunks, but this entire performance from the 5’7” guard was simply incredible. Not only did he win, he knocked off Slam Dunk God, and Atlanta teammate, Dominique Wilkins. This shouldn’t even be possible.
5. Zach LaVine: Free-Throw Line, Between the Legs
I see you, Mike and raise you a million. Watching this in real-time may not be as impressive as LaVine’s other notable dunks, the slow-mo shows how effortless he pops, glides and executes an insanely difficult dunk.
4. Vince Carter “Honey Dip”
Vince Carter’S 2000 Dunk Contest performance was, without a doubt, the best in NBA history. This was at the peak of Vinsanity, and later that year at the Sydney Olympics, he dunked over a 7-footer. He was in peak form.
But this dunk left everybody watching in silence. How did he get so high? 😳
3. Zach LaVine ‘Space Jam”
OK, we could have packed this list full of Zach LaVine, but this was the dunk that made him a household name. And the pressure of donning a Mike jersey while doing it? Sheesh, this kid can fly.
2. Vince Carter: Reverse 360 Windmill
Shaquille O’Neal and KG’s reactions to this have become timeless meme material. It’s comical, only enhanced now by the incredibly bulky tech the duo were using to film it on. But they are only famous because of this simply freakish dunk. It looks just as good in slow-mo than it does in real-time. The difficulty is off the charts, and there’s only one man who could pull it off with such grace. This was almost number one, but it just had to go to . . .
1. Aaron Gordon: “Mascot” Dunk
Just wow. This literally has everything. Creativity. Invention. Execution. Pop. Power. Athleticism. Simply unreal! I’m still trying to figure out two things, though. 1. Did this actually happen? and 2. How on earth did Air Gordon not win the 2016 title?!