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NBA: 10 most iconic dunks in Slam Dunk Contest history

| 20.02.2016

Robbie Purves | February 17, 2016

Aaron Gordon and 2015 Slam Dunk Contest winner Zach LaVine gave basketball fans something they have craved for years at the 2016 All-Star Weekend – a truly competitive, Basketball betting.

The contest saw LaVine collect his second consecutive slam dunk title with many spectators favouring Gordon over the eventual winner.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Zach LaVine, right, takes the ball from teammate Andrew Wiggins as he competes during the NBA All-Star Saturday Slam Dunk basketball contest Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

This year’s occasion was so good, it may leave players scratching their heads, staring at a blank canvas, pondering on how they could top the showing this year.

The 2016 contest ushered in a new, young generation of dunkers, but which throughout the ages have been the most iconic?

10. Amar’e Stoudemire – Header pass – 2005

Stoudemire will be the man that gets the credit for the dunk but Canada’s finest, Steve Nash, deserves special mention for his fatalistic, perfectly placed header as he makes two worlds collide in this dunk.

Nash and Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver bought Spanish second-tier football (soccer) club Real Mallorca last year and the legendary point guard is known for his love of the sport.

9. Cedric Ceballos – Blindfold dunk – 1992

Ceballos, formerly of the Phoenix Suns, pulled of his iconic blindfold dunk in the final round of the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest in Orlando.

The Hawaiian had already clinched the title before attempting his final dunk. This famous jam, that was dubbed the “Hocus Pocus” by Ceballos himself, earned Cedric only the eighth perfect score in contest history at that point.

8. Gerald Green – Cupcake dunk – 2008

It’s one thing to use props, but to use a cupcake takes dunk fun to a new level.

Green executed the dunk superbly, launching himself at the cupcake sat atop the rim and blew out the candle with finesse.

This dunk is a cult favourite and is loved by basketball fans far and wide because of its sweet, fun aspect.

7. Dwight Howard – Superman takes flight – 2008

Howard may have performed better at the 2009 contest – dunking on an 11 foot hoop, dunked from behind the backboard on another and bounced one off the side to finish his sensational treble.

However, what he will be remembered for most is the Superman Slam.

Howard pulled on his cape mid-contest and took flight. For his incredible dunk, Howard was named winner and booked his place in slam history.

6. Zach LaVine – New generation – 2016

All of LaVine’s dunks could have made this list, his performance was unbelievable.

However, two stand out. His first demanded a monumental level of technique, as he switched hands behind the back while in mid-air and finished with a strong but smooth reverse dunk.

LaVine’s second lifted him to another title and was a replica of Michael Jordan’s famous free-throw slam with a LaVine Twist.

His performance was iconic and signalled the beginning of a new generation of NBA dunkers, however the most iconic slam of the 2016 contest belonged to his rival Aaron Gordon.

5. Jason Richardson – Between-the-legs – 2003

Richardson pulled off some incredible jams during his reign as dunk king and there is almost too many to choose from.

This dunk won him the 2003 contest and is tremendously nuanced. He lobs the ball from the baseline, puts it between his legs, and throws down a reverse left-handed dunk.

You know a dunk is good when fellow players come onto the court to congratulate you on your thunderous slam.

Richardson’s former team, Golden State Warriors are 10/3 with Coral to win the Championship and Steph Curry to be named Finals MVP next season

4. Aaron Gordon – Mascot jump – 2016

Runner-up in 2016 Gordon, amazed fans as he leapt over the Orlando Magic mascot. Stuff the Magic Dragon stands at about 6ft 10in and Gordon cleared it with ease.

In fact, his huge leap rivalled that of Olympic athletes. His jump reached an incredible 7ft 7in in height at its apex. That height would have won Gordon the Bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.

The dunk is truly iconic, historic and an incredible feat of athleticism.

3. Spud Webb – Spud soars – 1986

Anthony ‘Spud’ Webb was a trailblazer and paved the way for generations to come. Spud proved to the world that little guys could dunk with style too.

In 1986 he leapt into the stratosphere to finish this reverse-slam and collect the year’s trophy.

Without the 5ft 7in Webb, a whole generation of ‘small’ players such as Allen Iverson could have been missed, as many cite him as an inspiration to pursue the NBA dream.

2. Michael Jordan – Free-throw line dunk – 1988

Jordan’s free-throw line dunk wasn’t the first of it’s kind, that belongs to Julius Erving in the 1976 ABA Dunk Contest.

Regardless, it is one of the most iconic slams in the contest’s history, combining athleticism, skill and Jordan’s tongue.

‘His Airness’ used the famous dunk as the logo for his Jordan brand and is a symbol recognised throughout the world.

Jordan’s former team, Chicago Bulls, are currently 12/1 to win the Eastern Conference.

1. Vince Carter – Vinsanity – 2000

In 2000 the basketball world came down with Vinsanity.

Vince Carter was the best dunker in the world at the time and made it abundantly clear during contest of 2000.

His 360 windmill slam will go down as the most iconic in Slam Dunk Contest history, along with his truly astounding all-round performance in Oakland, 2000.

Carter is arguably the greatest dunker in NBA history.


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Robbie Purves