2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Power Ranking All 12 Dunks (With Video Links)
Blake Griffin won the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night in Los Angeles, jumping over a car in his highlight-reel moment.
Griffin beat Washington's JaVale McGee in the final after the pair had edged out last year's runner-up DeMar DeRozan and 2008 Spanish dunk champion Serge Ibaka.
From a triple-ball dunk and a two-backboard slam to a cuddly toy rescue and a free-throw line takeoff, it's fair to say the dunk contest is back.
The first round, in particular, was one of the best starts to a dunk contest that I've ever seen.
B/R's Kevin Nesgoda also has a live blog of the competition here.
Here's a look at all 12 slams.
Serge Ibaka Round 1, Dunk 2: Score 45
Under the pretext of saving a young boy’s lost teddy bear that was dangling off a small pole off the front of the rim, Ibaka came to save the day.
Coming from behind the backboard, Ibaka slammed the ball through the hoop and got up high enough to pull the stuffed toy down with his teeth.
Inventive and cute, it didn't have that X-Factor that we had seen from Griffin.
DeMar DeRozan Round 1, Dunk 1: Score 44
DeRozan called this the East Bay Funk Remix. Strange name, awesome dunk.
Taking a feed off the side of the backboard extension, DeRozan came from the corner of the court along the baseline and threw the ball down after going through the legs.
It had all the makings of a highlight reel slam and deserved more than the 44 it received.
DeMar DeRozan Round 1, Dunk 2: Score 44
He called this the Show Stopper and boy was it ever.
DeRozan shot the ball into the air, scooped it up with his right hand, twisted so that his back was to the basket and then finished the dunk in one swift movement.
I would have given this at least a 46 or 47, but I think everyone wanted McGee and Griffin in the finals.
I can't find a picture of this, but the video is online. Click here for a pop-out video of the performance.
Blake Griffin Round 1, Dunk 2: Score 46
Taking a run-up from the corner of the court, Griffin wanted to take an assist off the side of the backboard and throw down the 360 slam. Right from the start it looked impossible.
As the clock counted down to 22 seconds, Griffin decided to change things up and windmill the dunk.
His Plan B was pretty impressive, but had he made Plan A, then we could have handed him the trophy right there.
JaVale McGee Round 2, Dunk 1
With the ball cradled against his forearm, McGee went along the baseline and under the hoop before throwing it down.
The big guy had to duck to ensure he didn’t crash head-first into the backboard, and the fact that he was moving away from the hoop when he flushed the rock made it even more stunning.
I don't think it was as good as either of his first two slams.
Blake Griffin Round 2, Dunk 2
Kenny Smith promised Griffin would bring pageantry to the contest, and oh my God.
When the crew wheeled out a silver Kia car, everybody in the arena went silent because they knew what it meant.
With the Crenshaw Elite Choir at halfcourt singing R Kelly’s "I Believe I Can Fly" and Baron Davis feeding the ball through the sunroof, Griffin took off from the bottom half of the circle, leapt over the hood and threw it down.
The presentation alone was worth some extra points, but the commentary team was right. The finish itself was sweet enough, but it wasn’t extra special.
Javale McGee: Round 1, Dunk 2: Score 49
He needed a 45 to make it to the finals. Enter mom Pam McGee and the FBI, bringing in the special ball needed to get things done.
We’ve seen two-ball dunks, but he wanted to go one better. With one ball in each hand and the third being thrown up by teammate John Wall, McGee missed perfection by a lone point.
He was pushing the boundaries of the dunking norm, and he thoroughly deserved his first-round lead.
Blake Griffin Round 2, Dunk 1
It’s ridiculous how high Griffin can leap.
After tossing the ball off the glass, Griffin went all Vince Carter on the Staples Center crowd by dunking the ball and hanging from the rim by his elbow.
In terms of the finish, it was probably his second best of the night.
JaVale McGee Round 2, Dunk 2
McGee finished off the competition with a fierce slam off the backboard.
He came in from the left, got his head well above the rim, extended his right arm and finished.
He got a little bit of help when the officials disallowed his first attempt, which probably wouldn’t have been enough to beat Griffin anyway, but this was only marginally better.
Serge Ibaka Round 1, Dunk 1: Score 45
Coming out surrounded by cheerleaders carrying NBA Africa flags, the seven-footer, nicknamed Air Congo, took off from the free throw line to throw it down on the first attempt.
It was further back than Dr. J’s dunk in 1984 and longer than Jordan’s that won in 1988.
Sure, his toe might have been on the very edge of the line, but this was sick.
45 points? Ibaka was robbed. This was a 49 minimum.
Blake Griffin Round 1, Dunk 1: Score 49
All the hype was on rookie Griffin and he came out with an explosive first dunk.
He went up for a one-handed slam from the middle of the paint, spun 360, cocked the ball behind his head and dunked two-handed with authority.
JaVale McGee Round 1, Dunk 1: Score 50
Dwight Howard dunked on a rim that was 12 feet high in 2009. McGee wanted to impress the judges, that included Howard, so McGee pulled out a second rim and placed it side-by-side.
The two rims, each at regulation height, must have been a good five feet apart, and on his eighth attempt, he was able to slam a ball through each.
He held a ball in each hand, threw the ball in his right hand off the left backboard, dunked the left ball in the left net and then threw the other ball through the right hoop. It took a while, but it was good value for the 50.