We are just a day away from the 2012 Sprite Dunk Contest. Another year, another set of participants. The biggest problem with this year’s crop of participants: nobody knows who they are. It wasn’t a secret that the competition was losing its steam, but at least the Dwight Howards and the Blake Griffins gave the contest some life.
This year, it’s Derek Williams, Chad Budinger, Paul George and Jeremy Evans vying for the title.
The lack of stardom makes us reminisce about the top 5 moments in dunk contest history.
5. Dwight Howard – 2008
Although Dwight is 6’11 and can probably reach the rim anywhere from within the 3-point line, you have to respect the show he put on. This is by far one of the most memorable moments in dunk contest history as he literally flew threw the air cape and all, truly putting on a Jordan-esque performance. He definitely took the title of NBA’s Superman after this one. Sorry Shaq.
4. Jason Richardson 2002
J-Rich’s dunk capped off the first of his consecutive Dunk Contest wins in 2002 and 2003. The G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan, Nate Robinson and Richardson are the only back-to-back champions in competition history. But his dunk in 2002 shouldn’t be a feat that human beings can accomplish. The lob has to be perfect – which it was. On top of that, the torque put on Richardson’s body as he is going up is unfathomable, yet he finishes. Richardson will undoubtedly go down as one of the best dunkers of all time.
3. Vince Carter – 2000
Before there was Linsanity, there was Vinsanity. At the dunk contest, Carter took dunking new to new heights with this unbelievable 360 windmill jam. He simply makes it look like an art as he gracefully spins through the air then throws it down with pure ferocity. Carter, much like J-Rich, will go down with the best of the best.
2. Jason Richardson – 2003
Capping off back-to-back Dunk Contest titles is one thing, but doing it with this dunk brings it to a whole new level. Richardson was among dunk contest elite with his 2002 performance, but his 2003 repeat performance raised the bar for dunk contests to come. The between-the-legs seems to be a theme in this list, and Richardson’s version is the best ever.
1. Michael Jordan – 1988
In 12 quick seconds, Michael Jordan went from M.J. to “His Airness” in what is perhaps the most iconic moment in NBA history. This dunk not only won him that year’s contest, it launched a brand. The Jordan logo is one of the most recognized symbols in the world, and it spawned out of this jam. It may not be the highest degree of difficulty, (although it is quite hard), but it certainly is the highest degree of famous. M.J., you can land now.