NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: 20 Iconic Slam Dunks NBA Fans Will Never Forget

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2012

NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: 20 Iconic Slam Dunks NBA Fans Will Never Forget

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    There have been so many iconic dunks during the contest held on the night before the All-Star game.

    It's unbelievable how many players have been able to put on something the fans want to see, and it's downright impressive to watch these guys do the things they do while in mid-air.

    Some believe the best days of the event are in the past. Given the clips that are on this list, there is strong reason to believe that some of these will never be topped.

Tyrus Thomas over Ben Gordon

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    Tyrus Thomas' potential has always been harbored in his athleticism, and some Bulls fans will remember this performance fondly.

    Thomas went up and over Ben Gordon to deliver a ferocious dunk that broke the net but didn't get the love it should have from those who were serving as judges.

Stevie Franchise

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    It's been a long time since anyone was talking about Steve Francis dunking, but nobody is going to forget this dunk he put through the bottom of the net.

    Delivering the slam with utter emphasis and exciting the crowd in the process, Francis showed impressive leaping ability and proved why so many talked about what he was capable of when he played for the Rockets.

Andre Iguodala Behind the Back

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    Andre Iguodala's behind-the-back slam is a great example of one dunk that deserves all sorts of praise considering just how difficult it is to actually accomplish.

    Hardly a surprise that it garnered a perfect 50, a younger Iguodala reminds us why the dunk contest can be so special when executed in the proper fashion.

Amar'e Stoudemire from Steve Nash's Forehead

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    This isn't one that is going to be forgotten by anyone, even when we're talking about the Slam Dunk Contest several years from now.

    Steve Nash showed off his ridiculous soccer skills while Amar'e Stoudemire's freakish athleticism was placed on full display.

JaVale McGee's Double Slam

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    To put it bluntly, it's an absolute joke that JaVale McGee wasn't invited to participate in the 2012 contest after getting robbed in 2011 of the title.

    His basketball IQ may be the subject of popular scrutiny at times, but there is no doubting that McGee is an absolute specimen of an athlete, as he proves here.

Josh Smith over Kenyon Martin

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    A very, very young Josh Smith decided to take it to another level when jumping over a seated Kenyon Martin in the lane.

    But it's not just about "Smoove" jumping over "K-Mart." The versatile forward grabs the ball in mid-air from Martin and puts home an unbelievable slam.

Cedric Ceballos Goes with the Blindfold

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    Not every day will we see someone go with a blindfold in the dunk contest and have the confidence to make it, but that's why Cedric Ceballos brought the house down.

    When talking about iconic slam dunks that nobody is poised to forget, Ceballos' two-handed dunk starting from beyond half court definitely deserves rightful attention.

Isaiah "J.R." Rider

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    J.R. Rider is known among hoop fans for a variety of different reasons, but it's important to remember that he was a pretty skilled player in his day.

    It is not easy to do what Rider did in this clip. Clearly Charles Barkley approved of the impressive slam dunk.

Fred Jones with One Hand

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    Fred Jones' basketball career was bit a bit more brief than some others listed here, but his one-handed dunk seen here is something everybody should remember for a very long time.

    Dr. J was clapping, the judges approved and Jones spun around his entire body in order to bring home a tomahawk slam that had everybody in the building roaring.

JaVale McGee with Three Balls

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    How many times have you seen a player throw down three balls in the same slam dunk?

    In a special moment that involved his mother, McGee was in the air long enough to put home all three basketballs in the same dunk and got high above the rim to do so.

Nate Robinson over Dwight Howard

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    Almost anything little man Nate Robinson does in the dunk competition is memorable, but going up and over Dwight Howard was on another level.

    Acting as the "Krypto-Nate" to Howard's Superman act, Robinson put everybody on notice when he split his legs and brought the house down.

Vince Carter

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    Vince Carter's once-unbelievable athleticism isn't something that we talk about too often anymore, but when he used to fly to the hoop, it was always something to watch.

    "It's over," as Carter said, is really the best way to describe this one.

Jason Richardson off Two Feet

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    Jason Richardson doesn't dunk all that often at this stage in his career, but he was as impressive of a high-flyer as anyone else during his prime.

    Even Michael Jordan was impressed with what Richardson could do on this one, as he jumps off two feet and goes through the legs before slamming it home.

Retro Kobe Bryant

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    In the good ole days when Kobe Bryant was still rocking No. 8, he got up and put it between his legs before giving his Mamba stare to the crowd.

    Nobody knew Bryant's career would take the path it did at the time of this contest, and that makes this retrospective look into history that much more special.

Gerald Green's Cupcake Dunk

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    Gerald Green is still working on his game in the D-League at this time, but when he was soaring in the NBA, he was an automatic lock to put on a promising performance near the rim.

    Blowing out the candle on a cupcake while going up for a slam dunk?

    That is the definition of a memorable moment.

Andre Iguodala Behind the Backboard

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    A Slam Dunk Contest Allen Iverson was involved in is one reason to love this dunk, bu it's not what makes it most impressive.

    Andre Iguodala takes a pass off the backboard, brings it back into play and hangs in the air long enough to put home a one-handed reverse slam dunk.

    Now that's style.

Nate Robinson Goes High over Spud Webb

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    Anytime one involves a legend like Spud Webb in the dunk, everybody gets excited, but for Nate Robinson to go up over Webb for a dunk is just ridiculous.

    Both guys proved that shorter players could still have impressive vertical leaps. People will still be talking about this one well into the future.

Desmond Mason over Rashard Lewis

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    Desmond Mason's career tailed off toward the end of his playing days, but make no mistake about it—this kid knew how to dunk.

    As evidenced by him going up over Rashard Lewis and setting the building ablaze, Mason's athletic abilities were never in question.

Dwight Howard Goes Superman

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    Dwight Howard's Superman routine set the crowd on fire, and it was only a matter of time before everybody in attendance bought into the act.

    From a step inside the free-throw line, Howard powered it home and made sure everybody remembered why he adopted the nickname.

Blake Griffin Goes over the Kia

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    Blake Griffin's dunk was made into posters, is a photo many have framed on the wall and is watched on YouTube over and over again.

    With the anticipation and hype that was built up for this dunk, Griffin didn't disappoint in his first-ever appearance in the contest.