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Slam Dunk Contest – 5 Most Electrifying Performances

By Ankur Upadhyay
Slam dunk contests are the most electrifying events in the basketball universe.. Here is my compilation of top 5 most electrifying performances in slam dunk contests. 

5. Julius Erving, 1976 :

Although the contest featured the stars from ABA, this was the first time the world got a glimpse of Julius Erving’s showpiece. Erving’s contest was close till he slammed in the last one. His four dunks had everything – his afro and on court persona, the leaps from the free throw line, the consistency to dunk one bucket after another in quick succession, and finally, the monumental reverse 360 dunk. Dr. J’s dunks in this contest would go on to inspire several key players at that time to take up the art of dunking in games. Such was the spectacular quality of this dunk that it is still fancied to be one of the better dunks in modern basketball history, particularly since television coverage began.

4. Jason Richardson, 2003 :

Richardson is arguably the freakiest slam dunk participant ever. His athletic build was second to none and his dunking prowess was undeniably insane. He would sometimes pull a dunk out of nowhere that left his fellow competitors in awe. When age caught up with this monstrous man, slam dunk contest lost one of its true greats.

J-Rich’s dunk in 2003 has since gone on to be emulated by several in the contests that followed but the context in which the then Golden State Warrior slammed this dunk home was truly remarkable. Richardson needed 48 to tie, 49 to win but what he had in store only deserved 50 – A lob from baseline, backwards through his legs and then BAMMMMMM! The reaction from the crowd further proved how clinically Richardson had swept the contest.

3. Blake Griffin, 2011 :

I could be over-rating Blake Griffin’s publicity stunt with the car but the efficiency in his three dunks put together stole the show for me. His first dunk was a 360 windmill, his hang time with the second and finally, the colossal leap over the KIA car preceded by the church choir – Griffin marketed his dunks perfectly. For a rookie to hang onto the rim with nearly his entire arm at the top of the board in an All-Star contest, to then captivate the audience by bringing a car and jumping over it, Blake Griffin’s beastly physique was never in doubt.

To quote the speaker from the audio, “Sometimes, it’s real…”

2. Michael Jordan, 1988 :
“They gave him a 50. They gave Jordan a 50… he defends his championship.”

Search for Jordan’s profile on the NBA website and this is what you’ll find: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” His “Airness”, as we love to call him, not only electrified the crowds during the regular games but set the arenas on fire during the All-Star weekend. To avenge his loss to Dominique Wilkins in 1985, Jordan came out with the greatest dunk the world had ever seen till then. Erving had done it first in 1976 but none would fathom over Jordan’s stance in the air for a mere .928 seconds – a stat that remains unmatched even today.
Kudos to Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time but sorry for him that he had to lose to a sensational 360 windmill from 2000.

1. Vince Carter, 2000 :

Is Vincent Carter human? Doesn’t he possess alienist features?

In 2000, Carter let loose the first real 360 windmill the world had witnessed. His first dunk won him the contest and such was the craze behind the dunk, several players including Blake Griffin have failed to artistically emulate it since then. If there ever was a dunk that deserved a 50 without a doubt, this was it.

Carter remains the greatest dunker in NBA history. His execution was perfect and inventive. If basketball will ever compile a list of the greatest dunkers in the sports’ history, Carter better top it.

Vincent Carter’s 360 windmill – the best of all time.

Friends, this is my list. What are your favorite slam dunk contest performances and moments?? Please share..

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