NBA Slam Dunk Contest: The 10 Greatest Dunk Ideas of All Time (with Video)
The NBA Slam Dunk Contest is a high flying, acrobatic, prop-filled, and jaw dropping event that Americans love.
Every year players put a new twist onto dunks that were thought to have no other alternatives.
The dunk contest began in 1984. Since then, countless new versions of even the most simple dunks have been completed.
Whether it was Spud Webb dunking like little men had never had, Michael Jordan soaring effortlessly through the air, or Dominique throwing down violent slams, the contest saw great dunkers early.
After a somewhat dead period in the contest, dunkers like Vince Carter revived it completely.
The 2011 cast aims to soar the contest to a whole new level.
This years contest features high flyers Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee, and DeMar DeRozan.
But let's get into why this contest is so great.
Here is a list of the top 10 greatest dunk contest ideas ever.
10. Soccer and Basketball, Combined Into a Dunk By Amar'e and Nash
When two players come out to perform a dunk, the possibilities grow.
When one of those players is Steve Nash and the other is Amar'e Stoudemire, anything can happen.
Nash and Stoudemire combined to put a soccer like twist on the dunk contest, evidenced by the header that Nash put on the ball.
This dunk is really unique for one main reason.
Nobody has ever, in the history of the dunk contest, used a ball bounced off a teammates head to slam down a 180 degree dunk.
It's sad that Nash has only been featured in one dunk contest, since he has great ball skills and creative ability.
Please, for the sake of creativity, someone use Steve Nash so we can see another exciting twist on a dunk.
9. The Windmill, Trademarked By Dominique Wilkins
One of the true dunk legends, Dominique put his trademark on the windmill.
Just two years into the dunk contest, Wilkins put the contest truly on the map.
After throwing down a vicious windmill slam, the dunk contest became a big event worth watching.
It's guys like Dominique that started to make dunks more than just "placing the ball through the basket."
Dominique created a whole new generation for guys like Shawn Kemp to try and break the backboard every chance they got.
For that Dominique, we thank you.
8. Nate Robinson Dunking Over Legend Spud Webb
Nate Robinson was indeed the first person to bring this to a dunk contest.
In 2006 he indeed pulled Spud Webb out of the crowd, and dunked over him.
Don't get what was said wrong, he did not dunk on him. Nate dunked OVER him.
After watching the video, you can see that Nate cleanly cleared Spud.
Unlike when he dunked over Dwight Howard, he did not have to use his hand to propel himself up. Nate simply had the leaping ability to jump straight over Spud for the thundering dunk.
This dunk is very creative, and don't be surprised if someone puts a new twist on it in the near future.
7. J-Rich's Reverse Between The Legs Dunk
Putting a creative twist on a previous dunk, Jason Richardson did the amazing.
It's almost hard to comprehend exactly all the things that went into J-Rich's dunk.
First, it starts with the perfect self lob pass.
Then, J-Rich shows the ability to grab the ball, and put it between his legs from back to front all while in the air.
After that, Richardson does a reverse dunk with his weak hand.
This dunk is very underrated when it comes to difficulty.
One can only imagine how much practice it took J-Rich to get good at this.
Whether it took him a million tries or just a few, it does not matter. J-Rich completed this dunk on the biggest stage of them all, and for that we applaud him.
6. Michael Jordan, Soaring For The Dunk From The Free Throw Line
Michael Jordan makes this dunk look incredibly too easy. On his behalf, the announcers didn't exactly help him with their sub par reaction.
While Michael was not the first to attempt this dunk, he came the closest to slamming it from behind the free throw line.
The dunk was previously done by Dr. J, but Michael did it from farther back and with much less effort.
This is a dunk that will not go away, as it will always be an impressive feat.
The poster of Michael jumping from the free throw line is probably his best seller, and I still own the poster today. Jordan is truly soaring through the air, making this dunk magical.
5. Andre Iguodala, From Behind The Backboard
A.I. and the other A.I. teamed up to showcase an entirely new dunk.
This dunk is extremely underrated and very difficult.
Coming from behind the backboard Iggy had to get the ball, avoid hitting his head on the backboard, and then proceed to slam the ball down.
There is a reason why nobody else has tried a dunk similar to this one. It's because they can't do it.
The degree of difficulty on this dunk might be the hardest to duplicate in dunk contest history.
4. The Honey Dip Dunk, Courtesy Of Vince Carter
After the dunk contest went through several down years, Vince Carter brought it back to life in a big way.
Carter single handedly created new dunks that shocked the basketball world.
This one, known as the "Honey Dip," is where Carter leaps for the dunk and jumps so high he ends up with his elbow in the rim.
It's not like Vince had to climb up the rim to do this, he simply could jump that high.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, has even attempted to redo or recreate that dunk. It's just that spectacular.
Put this dunk in the history books for top dunks ever, and don't let anyone try to "one-up" it.
Congrats Vince, you are a dunking pioneer.
3. Dwight Howards Cape
Dwight Howard's cape was one of the best prop dunks ever.
The big man commonly known for his huge smile and joke-around attitude used that to his advantage at the dunk contest.
If you were watching the dunk contest that night, you remember right when Dwight revealed the cape. The crowd went absolutely nuts, and everyone wanted to see what dunk Dwight had in store.
To be honest, Dwight did not have to display a great dunk, because the cape was that good of an idea.
Dwight followed up with the Superman theme in his dunk.
He jumped high in the air, soaring and stretching out as much as possible.
I'm not sure if it's good or bad that he didn't "officially" dunk the ball, but it probably made it that much cooler.
No one can play Clark Kent like you Dwight Howard, nobody.
2. Gerald Greens Cupcake
Definitely the best prop dunk ever.
Gerald Green used his creativity skills to light a candle in a cupcake on top of the rim.
After Green lit the candle, many were not exactly sure what he was going to do next.
Go figure, he jumped so high that he blew the candle out.
If you watch the video, not only does he blow the candle out, he nearly hits his head on the rim.
This is the type of dunk that fans love. It brings together the essence of a dunk while incorporating a fun little trick.
Unfortunately, Green is no longer in the NBA.
Don't worry though Gerald, you will forever be remembered for this amazing moment at the dunk contest.
1. Vince Carter and His Through The Legs Dunk
This dunk started it all. Literally.
The dunk contest had been suffering for years until Carter came in with a bang.
In a dunk now commonly known as "It's Over," Carter receives a pass from then teammate Tracy McGrady, followed by a through the legs slam.
Fans will never forget what Carter did after his dunk.
After pointing to the sky Carter began walking back to the bench. The nearby cameraman zoomed in close on Carter, and he is visibly saying "It's over, it's over."
Carter was right. The dunk contest was over (hypothetically) and he would be the champion.
This is easily the most memorable and unique dunk in the last 15 years.
After Carter did his through the legs dunk, many attempted to put their own twist on it.
However, it was not the same. The dunk is Carters, and will always be.
Vince Carter truly started a trend for a new generation of dunkers.
For that we thank him and his leaping ability.
Respect your elders people, and know that this was the greatest idea for a dunk ever.
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