It’s almost about that time. The NBA All-Star game in New York is coming up. With that, so is the Dunk Contest. Who doesn’t love dunks!? The contest has received much criticism for who should participate (LeBron), who shouldn’t (non all-stars or non established players since it is called All-Star weekend), missed dunks, etc.
Every year I think about this in my head so I decided to share my magical/imaginary way to possibly fix all issues with the dunk contest. What if we had a time machine and could bring in the 10 Greatest Dunkers in their prime to compete in the best slam dunk contest of all-time? I made a dunk contest dream lineup. Here are the members of my list…
1. Vince Carter
Carter absolutely dazzled all the fans in Oakland in 2000 after a two year dunk contest absence. He completed a ridiculous 360 windmill among several other unbelievable dunks. In my opinion, his game dunks were even more “half man- half amazing” than the contest dunks, especially when he dunked OVER (not on) the 7’2 Frenchman Frederic Weis during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
When fans and kids are waiting outside malls to purchase your sneakers many years after you’ve retired that’s a good sign the nickname “Air Jordan” has probably been the best suited name to ever be bestowed onto a player. Jordan was a two time winner (’87,’88). Needing a 50 to defeat former champion Dominique Wilkins in his home court Chicago. In ‘1988, Jordan took-off from the free throw line spreading his legs, bending his knees, and pumping the ball easily clearing the distance needed to complete the dunk. He also posterized nearly every single meaningful player to play in his era. I find it, very difficult to pick between his fellow Tar Heel Vince Carter, but a dunk contest can settle things!
3. Dominique Wilkins
“The Human Highlight Film” was a two time winner (’85,’90). His signature dunks consisted of the windmill and tomahawk jams. Arguably the greatest dunker with a combination of explosiveness and power. ‘Nique’s put back dunks off rebounds were classic. He also had memorable dunk offs with fellow teammate Spud Webb and his Airness, MJ.
“Dr. J.” would be considered to most as the innovator of creative dunks. The doctor was the first notable player to take off from the free throw line while winning the ABA dunk contest in ‘1976. One of his memorable dunks was off a breakaway cuffing the ball and slamming it over one of the best defenders ever to play, Michael Cooper who ducked for cover.
5. LeBron James
Not sure if I should rank a player this high who has never competed in a dunk contest but if you’re going to make an exception, it’ll be “King James”. For over a decade now, fans have practically begged for him to take part in the contest but to no avail. His signature dunk combines elevation, speed, power, and explosiveness which can be classified as a semi tomahawk cocking the ball sideways with his head at times nearly equal height to the rim.