NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: Breaking Down the Best and Worst Dunks

Jason Fray@ IFebruary 26, 2012

Evans skying over the competition
Evans skying over the competitionPool/Getty Images

Last night, little known Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans took the crown as the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Champion with 29 percent of the fans' vote.  

This years' dunk contest wasn't, shall we say, reminiscent of the past. There weren't superstar talents like Michael Jordan, Vince Carter or Dwight Howard captivating the audience with their supreme prowess as not only dunkers, but also as entertainers.

The 2012 field of Evans, Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams might have been the most unknown quartet in the history of the event.

However, there were some impressive dunks that excited the crowd. Inevitably, there were also some duds.

Let's take a look at the best and worst from last night...


Jeremy Evans

The Western Kentucky product was a late replacement for the injured Iman Shumpert. Let's be honest, the percentage of viewers who had even heard of Evans prior to the event was next to nothing. Evans is averaging only 5.6 minutes per contest for the Jazz. 

With that said, he absolutely delighted the crowd and has brought notoriety to his persona.

His second dunk was very impressive and was bar none the best dunk of the event.

It started with teammate Gordon Hayward sat in a chair in the middle of the key holding two basketballs.

Another look at the dunk by Evans
Another look at the dunk by EvansMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

As Evans careened down the lane, Hayward threw both balls up in the air and Evans magnificently jumped over Hayward and caught each ball with his right and left hand, respectively, while slamming them home.

His combination of jumping ability and hand-eye coordination truly makes this dunk fantastic. It's the only one that could compare with some of the greats from the past.

Prior to the event, there was one writer who thought Evans would make his mark.

Verdict: Best

Chase Budinger

The San Diego native had a respectable showing with two of his three dunks. His first dunk over P. Diddy was nice, as was his blindfolded dunk in an homage to former player Cedric Ceballos.

However, his second dunk attempt left a lot to be desired.

Fellow competitor Derrick Williams executed a windmill dunk over a motorcycle for his first-round dunk. As Budinger started the second round, he did the exact same dunk—without any obstruction.

Come on, Chase, let's see some creativity and originality.

Verdict: Worst


Budinger dunking over P Diddy
Budinger dunking over P DiddyPool/Getty Images

Derrick Williams

The rookie from Arizona actually had a decent shot at winning the event—until his final-round attempt, which effectively sealed his fate.

Earlier in the contest, Williams displayed the aforementioned dunk over a motorcycle, as well as an impressive "corner of the backboard" 360-degree spin-move dunk with the help of teammate Ricky Rubio.

For the third round, he attempted to conjure up memories of "Vinsanity". He attempted to throw the ball off of the backboard to himself while putting it through his legs for the flush.

Williams attempted the dunk seven times, but was unable to land it. As a result, he finished with a pedestrian slam to mercifully end his round.

We appreciate the effort Derrick, but you have to finish better!

Verdict: Worst

Paul George

George is probably the most well known of all the participants. He's established himself as one of the better young players in the league and is most certainly a candidate for the Most Improved Player Award.

In terms of dunking ability, George's athleticism was more than on display last night.

Paul George glowing in the dark
Paul George glowing in the darkRonald Martinez/Getty Images

George's first dunk was his most impressive. He dunked over teammates Dahntay Jones and Roy Hibbert in emphatic fashion. The most marvelous part of the dunk? It's the fact that Hibbert is 7'2"!

Truly remarkable stuff.

George also showed well with his TRON dunk, sporting a glow-in-the-dark jersey and doing a 360-degree dunk while the arena was in complete darkness.

If not for a mishap on his final-round dunk, George could have won the event.

Verdict: Best


Here is a compilation of all the dunks from last night.