NBA All-Star Game: Dwight Howard and the Top 25 All-Star Dunks

Brett Appley@@BrettAppleyCorrespondent IFebruary 16, 2011

NBA All-Star Game: Dwight Howard and The Top 25 All-Star Dunks

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    PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 14:  Jameer Nelson helps out teammate Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 14, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    With the NBA All-Star Game approaching, memories of past games, skills contests, and slam dunk competitions come swirling back.

    Some of the best dunks of all time have taken place during All-Star weekend.

    Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic is one of the best high-flyers in the league. Although he won't be participating in this year's dunk contest, he has given crowds some amazing moments in the past.

    Here's a look at the top 25 NBA dunk contest dunks of all time.

No. 25. Dwight Howard Dunks On a 12-Foot Rim

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    Dwight Howard showed how good an athlete he truly is with his dunk on a 12-foot hoop in 2009.

    Jameer Nelson gave him an off-the-backboard pass that grazed the rim and was picked up and slammed back down by Howard.

    It looked as if Howard could have dunked on a 14-foot hoop with ease, but maybe that's a dunk for another time.

No. 24. Larry Nance Dunks Two Balls

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    Larry Nance was one of the first great dunkers in NBA history.

    His dunk, which featured him holding a ball in each hand and throwing one down on each side of the hoop, gave the crowd a lot to cheer about.

No. 23. Steve Nash Heads The Ball to Amar'e Stoudemire

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    I'm not sure whether Steve Nash or Amar'e Stoudemire was the highlight of this dunk.

    Nash showed off his soccer skills with a nice header pass to Stoudemire who then spun around and finished off the slam.

No. 22. Isaiah Rider Between-The-Legs

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    Starting from the corner of the baseline, Isaiah Rider quickly flipped the ball between his legs before slamming it through the rim.

    Chris Webber was one of many who stood up in excitement for this dunk.

No. 21. Dwight Howard Double-Tap

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    Dwight Howard is back in the countdown with another dunk.

    In this edition, Howard lets the ball bounce high in the air and then pushes it off the backboard with his left hand and throws it back down with his right.

No. 20. Julius Erving Dunks From The Free-Throw Line

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    One of the most exciting players ever, Dr. J shocked the basketball world when he dunked from the free-throw line (close enough).

    Many players, including Shawn Kemp, Michael Jordan, and Dwight Howard would try to duplicate this dunk in later years.

No. 19. Michael Jordan Windmill

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    Michael Jordan is still considered one of the best dunkers of all time.

    In this slam dunk competition, he pulled off one of his famous windmill dunks. The dunk was one of the prettiest ones he performed, starting alongside the baseline and finishing with a huge throw-down.

No. 18. Spud Webb 360

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    Standing at 5 foot 7 inches tall, Spud Webb was one of the shortest players ever in the NBA.

    That's not what made him so special though, it was the fact that he was a spectacular dunker. He thrilled the crowd year after year with amazing dunks.

    His 360 slam dunk was one of his most famous.

No. 17. Nate Robinson Dunks Over Spud Webb

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    Just two inches taller then Spud Webb, Nate Robinson has the same great ability to wow the crowd with his spectacular dunks.

    Robinson showed off his ability in the dunk contest by using Webb as a prop and jumping over him while slamming the ball down with one hand.

No. 16. Dominique Wilkins Windmill

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    Dominique Wilkins made the windmill famous with his outstanding execution of the dunk time and time again.

    Many players have tried to model their windmills after Wilkins, but nobody can quite duplicate the original look.

No. 15. Dwight Howard Side Of The Backboard

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    Dwight Howard had full extension on this dunk as he threw the ball off the side of the backboard before slamming it down.

    The crowd went absolutely wild, and the expression on Nate Robinson's face is priceless.

No. 14. Jason Richardson Through-The-Legs Reverse

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    One of Jason Richardson's many amazing dunks was one that won him the competition.

    His reverse, between the legs dunk sent players running onto the court from the sidelines, and is considered one of the best final dunks in competition history.

No. 13. Andre Iguodala Behind-The-Back

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    Andre Iguodala isn't primarily known as a great dunker, but he pulled off an amazing slam with this behind the back dunk.

    Standing at the free-throw line, Iguodala tossed the ball up, letting it bounce softly before he picked it up, swung it around his back, and finished it off.

No. 12. Spud Webb Off The Backboard

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    Spud Webb is back in the countdown at number 12.

    This time, he wowed the crowd with an off-the-backboard dunk. Webb bounced the ball off the floor and let it hit the backboard. It looked as if he could barely reach the rim, but somehow he put the ball home.

No. 11. Nate Robinson Off The Backboard Reverse

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    Spike Lee was a huge fan of this dunk as you can tell from the video, and so am I.

    Robinson gently tossed the ball off the backboard, caught it while doing a 180, and threw it down.

No. 10. Kenny Smith Off The Backboard Reverse

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    Kenny Smith was really creative with his reverse dunk in the Slam Dunk Contest.

    He started out facing the opposite direction of the hoop and bounced the ball between his legs and off the backboard.

    He then caught the ball and spun around again for the reverse.

No. 9. Larry Nance Cradle

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    Larry Nance pulled off the cradle about as well as anyone could in.

    He had full extension on both sides of the hoop which makes this dunk so special.

No. 8. Vince Carter Through The Legs

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    In his prime, Vince Carter was one of the most spectacular dunkers ever.

    One of his best dunks included someone bouncing the ball off the ground so Carter could catch it. He then flipped it between his legs and threw it home.

    After that, the competition was Carter's and he let the fans know it with his "it's over" gesture.

No. 7. Michael Jordan Dunks From The Free-Throw Line

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    One of Michael Jordan's most famous dunks came during All-Star Weekend.

    Jordan lined up at the far end of the court, sprinted toward the free-throw line, and took off. Although his toes did touch the free-throw line, nobody seemed to care.

    This could arguably be the most watched dunk in history, and one of the most spectacular ones as well.

No. 6. Dee Brown No-Look Dunk

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    Dee Brown pulled off this dunk in the Slam Dunk Contest and its now considered a classic.

    As he was running toward the hoop, he put his arm over his eyes and slammed the ball anyways.

    In the battle between Shawn Kemp and Dee Brown, this dunk was definitely the best.

No. 5. Dwight Howard Superman Throw

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    Fans always love a player who interacts with the crowd.

    Nicknamed "Superman", Howard decided to put on a cape before he performed this dunk.

    What made it so great was that he didn't actually dunk the ball, he threw it in. I don't know if Howard planned that or not, but it's about as perfect as he could have made it.

No. 4. Andre Iguodala Dunks From Behind The Backboard

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    This dunk shocked everyone in the arena, because nobody expected such a great throw down to come from a player like Iguodala.

    He showed off his hang time in this dunk by catching the ball when it was behind the hoop and flying through the air until he reached the rim. He promptly ran off the court after he finished the dunk.

No. 3. Jason Richardson Off-The-Backboard, Between-The-Legs

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    This may very well be the highlight of Jason Richardson's career thus far.

    Dunking the ball between your legs is hard enough, but catching the ball off the backboard and then flipping it between your legs is unreal.

No. 2. Spud Webb Reverse

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    Little guys get a ton of love in the NBA. They get even more love in dunk competitions.

    Spud Webb's reverse dunk put the crowd on its feet. He threw the ball up 15 feet in the air, let it bounce once and then leaped up to grab it and put it home.

    He jumps so high that it looks as if he could jump over a train. Fortunately, nobody asked him to do that.

No. 1. Vince Carter 360

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    We finally come to the greatest Slam Dunk Contest dunk in history.

    What made this dunk so special is how much power Carter put into the dunk, and the reaction from the crowd.

    Carter threw it down with such force that he bounced back off the floor a couple times while the fans jumped out of their seats.