Slam Dunk Contest

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The NBA Slam Dunk Contest, officially known as the Sprite Slam Dunk for sponsorship reasons, is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) competition held during the NBA All-Star Weekend. The contest was inaugurated by the American Basketball Association (ABA) at its All-Star Game in 1976 in Denver, the same year the slam dunk was legalized in the NCAA. As a result of the ABA-NBA merger later that year there would not be another slam dunk contest at the professional level until 1984. The contest currently uses fan voting, via text-messaging, to determine the winner of the final round.

The very first slam dunk contest was won by Julius Erving of the Nets at the 1976 ABA All-Star Game. The current champion of the NBA Dunk Contest is John Wall of the Washington Wizards.

History[edit]

1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest[edit]

On January 27, 1976 at McNichols Sports Arena during halftime of the 1976 ABA All Star Game the first-ever Slam Dunk Contest was held, which was won by Julius Erving of the New York Nets over David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets, Artis Gilmore of the Kentucky Colonels, and George Gervin and Larry Kenon of the San Antonio Spurs. There was a format each competitor had follow in which they must attempt 5 dunks in a row under two minutes. One from a standing position, one from a distance of ten feet away from the basket (which is basically the bottom of the semi circle that surrounds the free throw line in the Key. The next 3 were freelance positions, one coming in from the left side of the basket, one coming in from the right side of the basket and finally from either corner down the baseline to the basket. They were judged on artistic ability, imagination, body flow as well as fan response.

Artis Gilmore went first followed by George Gervin, Larry Kenon, David Thompson and finally Julius Erving. George Gervin and David Thompson both missed a dunk during their routines which counted as a zero (scores were not announced to the audience). David Thompson did a 360 degree dunk to finish his routine. All competitors had to perform a dunk from 10 feet, but Julius Erving started marking his steps from the free throw line (15 feet away). He then completed a dunk from the free throw line.

1976-1977 NBA Slam Dunk Contest[edit]

This was a season long event [1] similar to 1977-1978 NBA Horse event. There were multiple competitors and Darnell Hillman won. [2]

1980s[edit]

The NBA reintroduced the Slam Dunk Contest in 1984 at its birthplace in Denver. Phoenix's Larry Nance defeated the original Dunk contest winner Julius Erving in the final round. Dominique Wilkins won the contest the following year, but in 1986 his Atlanta Hawks teammate Spud Webb made history when he defeated Wilkins in the final, preventing him from retaining his title. Standing a mere 5 feet 7 inches tall, Webb became the shortest player ever to win the contest, a distinction that he still holds. Chicago's Michael Jordan won back-to-back dunk contest victories in 1987 and in 1988. His victory over Wilkins in 1988 in Chicago finished with a perfect 50 dunk from the free-throw line for his third dunk to win the contest. However, the announcers did note that Wilkins was given abnormally low score for his breathtaking third dunk, a 45, allowing Jordan to win it by 2 with his perfect 50. To this day, the allegations of "home cooking" still float around surrounding the event - it was held on Jordan's home court; one of the judges was former Chicago Bears star Gayle Sayers; and another judge, former NBA star Tom Hawkins, is a Chicago native - and is considered arguably the most controversial of the slam dunk competitions. The following year in Houston, New York's Kenny Walker, a last minute replacement whose father passed away mere days beforehand, upset Portland's Clyde Drexler, the sentimental hometown favorite and Houston native. 1986 champ Spud Webb finished 3rd, while Shelton Jones finished 4th. Michael Jordan chose not to compete, and Dominique Wilkins did not compete in the competition due to a hand injury.[1]

1990s[edit]

The Slam Dunk Contest had always been a big hit with fans, but interest in the contest began to wane in the 1990s. Initially, it was because many players lost interest in competing; some cited concerns of injuries, while others felt that the full repertoire of humanly possible dunks had already been exhausted.[citation needed] With most of the superstars - Jordan, Wilkins, Drexler, etc. - choosing not to participate, lesser-known players began to compete, leading to either watered-down competitions or surprises. Fans[who?] complained that players were beginning to win contests with boring or unoriginal dunks (witness the relatively forgettable early-'90s wins by the likes of Cedric Ceballos and Brent Barry). Harold Miner was a standout in 1993, winning the contest with a reverse power dunk, reaching between his legs and down to his feet in mid-air before sending the ball down. In 1994 and 1997 respectively, Isaiah Rider and Kobe Bryant won the contest. Rider would win with a spectacular, between-the-legs dunk, reminiscent of the Orlando Woolridge effort in the 1984 contest, but wasn't able to repeat in 1995, missing the same dunk on several tries, opening the way for Miner to grab his second slam dunk title in three years. In 1999, there was no All-Star Game due to the NBA lockout.

2000s[edit]

After a two-season layoff, the NBA decided to bring the Slam Dunk Contest back for the 2000 All-Star Weekend in Oakland, California. It would prove to be one of the most electrifying dunk contests in the league's history,[citation needed] featuring a great showdown between eventual winner Vince Carter of the Toronto Raptors, his cousin and then-teammate Tracy McGrady, and the Houston Rockets' Steve Francis. Carter won after performing a number of very impressive dunks, including two reverse 360 windmills, a honey dip, and a between-the-legs dunk off of a bounced alley-oop from McGrady. The next four contests did not feature superstars like Carter and Bryant, and despite innovative efforts by the likes of Desmond Mason and Jason Richardson, the lack of A-list superstars willing to participate hurt the appeal of the contest.

In 2005, the Slam Dunk Contest returned to its birthplace in Denver. With the spectacular dunks of prior contests, there was buzz[citation needed] that the dunk competition could regain the popularity it had in the 1980s. The Phoenix Suns' Amar'e Stoudemire alley-ooping 360 off a soccer-style header from teammate Steve Nash; J.R. Smith putting it around his back and dunking, and the new champion, Josh Smith alley-ooping over Kenyon Martin all wowed the crowd with their maneuvers. With the change in the rules requiring an additional teammate starting in the second round, they proved there were indeed many ways to dunk a basketball that had not been done before. Amar'e Stoudemire received rave reviews, as did Smith when he did a tribute dunk to Dominique Wilkins while donning Wilkins' jersey.

Again in 2006, the Dunk Contest in Houston revitalized the interests of audiences as 5'9" Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks took the title with a great dunk-off. One of his most exciting dunks was a high-flying dunk over former Slam Dunk Contest winner, 5'7" Spud Webb. The 2006 Slam Dunk Contest was also the first Dunk Contest in history to have a "Dunk Off", the equivalent to a Dunk Contest overtime, between Knicks point guard Nate Robinson and shooting guard Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers. Many fans[who?] argue that Iguodala should have won the contest, as it took Robinson fourteen attempts before finally completing his dunk. Iguodala pulled off a dunk where he started out of bounds from the right side of the baseline while teammate Allen Iverson bounced the ball off the back of the right side of the backboard. Iguodala caught the ball in mid-air behind the backboard, spun around to the other side while ducking his head (to avoid colliding with the backboard) and dunked it with his right hand.

On February 17, 2007, the contest was held in Las Vegas. Judges for the event were all past winners: Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, Julius Erving, and Vince Carter. The title was taken by the Boston Celtics' Gerald Green, who, among other dunks, jumped over reigning champ Nate Robinson while covering his face – a homage to 1991 winner, Dee Brown, whose jersey Green had worn. He also scored a perfect fifty with his last slam, a windmill over a table. Other noteworthy dunks include a dunk by Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, who, while making his dunk, stuck a sticker with his smiling face on the backboard a reported 12'6" from the ground, two and a half feet beyond the regulation NBA rim.[2]

On February 16, 2008, the contest was held in New Orleans. Judges for the event included Darryl Dawkins, Dominique Wilkins, Karl Malone, Julius Erving, and Magic Johnson. The title was taken by Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. Howard's most noteworthy[citation needed] dunk came during the first round, his second dunk overall, when he took off his jersey to reveal a Superman shirt and cape. With teammate Jameer Nelson's assistance he would make a leaping dunk from just in front of the free-throw line after a running start, throwing the ball through the rim from a few feet away.[3] Other noteworthy dunks included the first round slam by Jamario Moon while the previous year's winner, Gerald Green, relied heavily on theatrics by blowing out a cupcake with a birthday candle on the rim before dunking (a jam he termed "The Birthday Cake"). For the first time ever, fan voting determined the outcome of the final round of the contest; Howard beat Green for the trophy by claiming 78% of the fans' votes.

Nate Robinson won the 2009 contest on February 14 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 5'9" guard dressed all in green as "Krypto-Nate" (a portmanteau of 'Nate' and Kryptonite) and jumped over 6'11" Dwight Howard characterized as Superman. He defeated Howard in the finals by a fan vote of 52–48 percent. J. R. Smith and Rudy Fernández also competed.

2010s[edit]

Nate Robinson won the 2010 contest on February 13 in Dallas, Texas, becoming the first 3-time Slam Dunk champion. Robinson took on Shannon Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers, Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats, and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors. DeRozan earned his spot in the competition by defeating Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon in the inaugural Sprite Slam Dunk-In held the night before the actual dunk contest. Robinson and DeRozan advanced to the final round, where Robinson's double-pump reverse dunk helped seal a 51% to 49% victory.

Blake Griffin won the 2011 slam dunk contest by jumping and dunking over a Kia sedan on February 19 in Los Angeles, CA. Javale McGee of the Washington Wizards, DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder all competed against Griffin. Griffin and McGee advanced to the final round, where Griffin stole the show, winning the contest with 68% of the vote.

Jeremy Evans won the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest by performing a dunk over Kevin Hart on February 25 in Orlando, FL with 29% of the votes. Joining Evans were Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, and Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves. While George awed the crowd with a dunk with the lights turned off, Evans had perhaps the dunk of the contest by jumping teammate Gordon Hayward, catching two balls from Hayward, and dunking it.

Terrence Ross won the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest after a tomahawk dunk in tribute to former Toronto Raptors player Vince Carter, as well as a between-the-legs dunk performed while jumping over a ball boy. Ross took on Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Eric Bledsoe of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets, Gerald Green of the Indiana Pacers, and James White of the New York Knicks. Evans advanced to the final round to defend his title of slam dunk champion, but was thwarted by Ross. Ross carried the momentum of his near-perfect first round, in which he scored a 99 out of a possible 100, with a stellar final round. Ross won the competition decisively, earning 58% of the vote.

Team East, composed of dunkers Paul George, defending champion Terrence Ross, and John Wall won the 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest in commanding fashion. Under the new team format, they dominated the Freestyle Round, capping it off with a pass off the backboard from Ross to Wall, then off the shot clock from Wall to George for the finish. In the Battle Round, Ross defeated Damian Lillard with a through the legs dunk from rapper Drake, George took down Harrison Barnes with a 360-degree, through the legs finish, and Wall defeated Ben McLemore by jumping over the Wizards' mascot G-Man and throwing down a reverse on the first try. Though Team East are the official winners, Wall was voted by fans as the Dunker of the Night.

Controversy over Dunk Contest authenticity[edit]

Many people, including 2010 winner Nate Robinson, thought that the 2011 contest was rigged to allow up-and-coming star Blake Griffin to win and that runner-up JaVale McGee deserved to win.[4][5][6][7] It was even disputed if Griffin even legitimately qualified for the finals since his final dunk got a perfect score but was basically a copy of DeMar DeRozan's first dunk with a lower degree of difficulty. Ben Maller of Fox Sports Radio reported that a media advisory sent out by the NBA over an hour before the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest began already referred to Blake Griffin as the winner.[8]

Past NBA Slam Dunk Contest champions[edit]

There have been 20 players crowned the best dunkers in the NBA. Nate Robinson is the only player to win the event three times. Four are two-time winners: Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, Harold Miner and Jason Richardson.

Slam Dunk Contest champions by franchise

Number Franchise Last Time
4 Atlanta Hawks 2005
4 New York Knicks 2010
3 Toronto Raptors 2013
2 Chicago Bulls 1988
2 Golden State Warriors 2003
2 Miami Heat 1995
2 Phoenix Suns 1992
2 Boston Celtics 2007
2 Los Angeles Clippers 2011
2 Indiana Pacers 2004
1 Los Angeles Lakers 1997
1 Minnesota Timberwolves 1994
1 Orlando Magic 2008
1 Seattle Supersonics 2001
1 Utah Jazz 2012
1 Washington Wizards 2014

All-time participants[edit]

Bold denotes winner(s) of that year.

All-time results[edit]

1980s[edit]

1984

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Larry Nance (Phoenix) 134 (44+44+46) 140 (49+48+43) 134 (48+39+47)
Julius Erving (Philadelphia) 134 (39+47+48) 140 (44+49+47) 122 (47+25+50)
Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta) 135 (47+39+49) 137 (48+48+41)
Darrell Griffith (Utah) 121 (39+40+42) 108 (42+42+24)
Edgar Jones (San Antonio) 118 (32+43+43)
Ralph Sampson (Houston) 118 (37+40+41)
Orlando Woolridge (Chicago) 116 (23+45+48)
Clyde Drexler (Portland) 108 (40+24+44)
Michael Cooper (L.A. Lakers) 70 (24+24+22)

1985

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta) 145 (47+49+49) 140 (48+45+47) 147 (47+50+50)
Michael Jordan (Chicago) 130 (44+42+42) 142 (45+47+50) 136 (43+44+49)
Terence Stansbury (Indiana) 130 (46+50+34) 136 (49+48+39)
Julius Erving (Philadelphia) BYEa 132 (43+44+45)
Larry Nance (Phoenix) BYEa 131 (42+47+42)
Darrell Griffith (Utah) 126 (38+42+46)
Orlando Woolridge (Chicago) 124 (40+43+41)
Clyde Drexler (Portland) 122 (39+39+44)

aErving and Nance received first-round byes as they were the finalists from the previous year.

1986

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Spud Webb (Atlanta) 141 (46+48+47) 138 (50+42+46) 100 (50+50)
Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta) BYEa 138 (46+47+45)   98 (50+48)
Terence Stansbury (Indiana) 129b (34+47+48) 132 (44+39+49)
Gerald Wilkins (New York) 133 (44+50+39)   87 (37+25+25)
Jerome Kersey (Portland) 129 (39+43+47)
Paul Pressey (Milwaukee) 116 (44+35+37)
Roy Hinson (Cleveland) 112 (35+39+38)
Terry Tyler (Sacramento) 110 (37+36+37)

aWilkins received a first-round bye as he was the previous year's champion.
bStansbury defeated Kersey in a dunk-off to break their tie.

1987

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Michael Jordan (Chicago) 88 (41+47) 148 (49+49+50) 146 (48+48+50)
Jerome Kersey (Portland) 92 (48+44) 147 (50+48+49) 140 (46+45+49)
Terence Stansbury (Seattle) 99 (49+50) 144 (49+45+50)
Clyde Drexler (Portland) 92 (45+47) 136 (46+45+45)
Ron Harper (Cleveland) 83 (45+38)
Johnny Dawkins (San Antonio) 81 (37+44)
Tom Chambers (Seattle) 62 (41+21)
Gerald Wilkins (New York) 62 (41+21)

1988
Ron Harper (Cleveland) was to participate but withdrew due to injury.

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Michael Jordan (Chicago) 94 (47+47) 145 (50+48+47) 147 (50+47+50)
Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta) 96 (49+47) 143 (49+47+47) 145 (50+50+45)
Clyde Drexler (Portland) 88 (44+44) 133 (45+42+46)
Otis Smith (Golden State) 87 (40+47) 109 (45+22+42)
Jerome Kersey (Portland) 79 (41+38)
Greg Anderson (San Antonio) 76 (42+34)
Spud Webb (Atlanta) 52 (34+18)

1989

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Kenny Walker (New York) 91.3 (42.5+48.8) 96.4 (46.9+49.5) 148.1 (48.9+49.6+49.6)
Clyde Drexler (Portland) 93.7 (46.6+47.1) 95.0 (47.3+47.7)   49.5 (24.5+25.0+ 0.0a)
Spud Webb (Atlanta) 94.5 (46.8+47.7) 91.8 (47.8+44.0)
Shelton Jones (Philadelphia) 89.5 (44.1+45.4) 90.6 (45.7+44.9)
Tim Perry (Phoenix) 89.4 (44.4+45.0)
Jerome Kersey (Portland) 88.9 (44.9+44.0)
Ron Harper (Cleveland) 88.5 (41.7+46.8)
Chris Morris (New Jersey) 83.2 (41.1+42.1)

a Drexler did not attempt his final dunk, as victory was out of reach.

1990s[edit]

1990

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta) 96.3 (48.1+48.2) 97.7 (48.0+49.7) 146.8 (47.9+49.7+49.2)
Kenny Smith (Sacramento) 93.0 (43.4+49.6) 98.3 (49.1+49.2) 145.1 (48.1+49.8+47.2)
Kenny Walker (New York) 95.2 (47.0+48.2) 97.4 (49.5+47.9)
Shawn Kemp (Seattle) 98.2 (49.1+49.1) 96.4 (47.6+48.8)
Scottie Pippen (Chicago) 92.2 (47.2+45.0)
Rex Chapman (Charlotte) 92.1 (45.5+46.6)
Billy Thompson (Miami) 91.4 (47.7+43.7)
Kenny Battle (Phoenix) 85.8 (42.5+42.8)

1991
Beginning with this year, final round competitors were allowed three dunks, with the two highest scores comprising the total.

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Dee Brown (Boston) 92.4 (48.2+44.2) 98.0 (49.6+48.4) 97.7 (48.1+49.6–46.4)
Shawn Kemp (Seattle) 95.8 (47.6+48.2) 95.6 (48.3+47.3) 93.7 (48.0+45.7–44.3)
Rex Chapman (Charlotte) 95.2 (45.5+49.7) 94.0 (48.0+46.0)
Kenny Smith (Houston) 90.8 (48.5+42.3) 87.9 (46.6+41.3)
Kenny Williams (Indiana) 86.9 (42.3+44.6)
Blue Edwards (Utah) 84.3 (40.1+44.2)
Otis Smith (Orlando) 83.0 (41.2+41.8)
Kendall Gill (Charlotte) 81.0 (40.1+40.9)

1992

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Cedric Ceballos (Phoenix) 85.4 (43.1+42.3) 90.4 (45.7+44.7) 97.2 (47.2+50.0–43.3)
Larry Johnson (Charlotte) 98.0 (48.6+49.4) 98.0 (49.6+48.4) 66.0 (33.5+32.5–0.0a)
Nick Anderson (Orlando) 88.6 (47.4+41.2) 89.8 (46.0+43.8)
John Starks (New York) 89.6 (42.6+47.0) 87.9 (43.1+44.8)
Doug West (Minnesota) 84.1 (44.3+39.8)
Shawn Kemp (Seattle) 81.4 (47.4+34.0)
Stacey Augmon (Atlanta) 79.5 (44.7+34.8)

a Johnson did not attempt his final dunk, as victory was out of reach.

1993
The two highest score dunks of three in each round constituted the competitor's score.
Shawn Kemp (Seattle) was scheduled to compete but was injured.

Player First round Finals
Harold Miner (Miami) 94.8 (49.0+45.8–45.8) 97.4 (48.0+49.4–47.0)
Clarence Weatherspoon (Philadelphia) 87.5 (43.2+44.3–38.5) 92.2 (44.7+47.5–27.5)
Cedric Ceballos (Phoenix) 87.3 (42.3+45.1–22.5) 79.8 (42.3+37.5–24.5)
David Benoit (Utah) 85.8 (41.5+44.3–28.5)
Kenny Smith (Houston) 85.0 (46.5+38.5–26.5)
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Denver) 80.8 (38.0+42.8–26.0)
Tim Perry (Philadelphia) 70.0 (38.5+31.5–22.0)

1994
In the first round, each competitor was allowed 90 seconds to do as many dunks as he chooses with one overall score. The final round score was the best of two dunks.

Player First round Finals
Isaiah Rider (Minnesota) 46.8 49.0, 47.0
Robert Pack (Denver) 42.0 43.8, 25.0
Shawn Kemp (Seattle) 46.6 25.0, 25.0
Allan Houston (Detroit) 41.5
Antonio Davis (Indiana) 40.0
James Robinson (Portland) 39.0

1995
This year, each competitor was allowed 90 seconds to do at least three dunks and then given an overall score in round one. In the final round, each competitor was allowed 60 seconds to do at least two dunks and then given an overall score.

Player First round Finals
Harold Miner (Miami) 49.2 46.0
Isaiah Rider (Minnesota) 44.6 34.0
Jamie Watson (Utah) 40.4 26.0
Antonio Harvey (L.A. Lakers) 35.2
Tim Perry (Philadelphia) 31.0
Tony Dumas (Dallas) 15.0

1996
Beginning this year, in the first round, each competitor was allowed 90 seconds to do as many dunks as he chooses with one overall score. The final round score was the best of two dunks.

Player First round Finals
Brent Barry (L.A. Clippers) 45.5 8.0, 49.0
Michael Finley (Phoenix) 45.0 7.0, 46.2
Greg Minor (Boston) 41.0 2.0, 40.0
Jerry Stackhouse (Philadelphia) 40.0
Doug Christie (New York) 39.5
Darrell Armstrong (Orlando) 25.5

1997

Player First round Finals
Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers) 37 49
Chris Carr (Minnesota) 44 45
Michael Finley (Dallas) 39 33
Ray Allen (Milwaukee) 35
Bob Sura (Cleveland) 35
Darvin Ham (Denver) 36

1998
No competition was held.

1999
No competition was held as All-Star Weekend was not held due to the NBA's lockout.

2000s[edit]

2000
Beginning with this year, the two highest dunks in each round constituted the competitor's total score.

Player First round Finals
Vince Carter (Toronto) 100 (50,49,50) 98 (50+48)
Steve Francis (Houston) 95 (45,50,32) 91 (43+48)
Tracy McGrady (Toronto) 99 (45,49,50) 77 (45+32)
Ricky Davis (Charlotte) 88 (40,32,48)
Jerry Stackhouse (Detroit) 83 (41,36,42)
Larry Hughes (Philadelphia) 67 (30,30,37)

2001

Player First round Finals
Desmond Mason (Seattle) 91 (42+49) 89 (45+44)
DeShawn Stevenson (Utah) 95 (46+49) 85 (38+47)
Baron Davis (Charlotte) 94 (45+49) 77 (44+33)
Stromile Swift (Vancouver) 90 (45+45)
Jonathan Bender (Indiana) 90 (46+44)
Corey Maggette (L.A. Clippers) 88 (46+42)

2002
A tournament format was adopted for this year.

Semifinals Finals
           
1 Desmond Mason (Seattle) 84 (41,43,36)
4 Jason Richardson (Golden State) 98 (48,31,50)
Jason Richardson 85 (36+49)
Gerald Wallace 80 (44+36)
3 Steve Francis (Houston) 77 (31,40,37)
2 Gerald Wallace (Sacramento) 84 (41,43,36)

2003

Player First round Finals
Jason Richardson (Golden State) 100 (50+50) 95 (45+50)
Desmond Mason (Seattle) 90 (46+44) 93 (50+43)
Amar'e Stoudemire (Phoenix) 79 (49+30)
Richard Jefferson (New Jersey) 74 (37+37)

2004

Player First round Finals
Fred Jones (Indiana) 92 (50+42) 86 (50+36)
Jason Richardson (Golden State) 95 (45+50) 78 (45+33)
Chris Andersen (Denver) 88 (42+46)
Ricky Davis (Boston) 76 (45+31)

2005

Player First round Finals
Josh Smith (Atlanta) 95 (45+50) 100 (50+50)
Amar'e Stoudemire (Phoenix) 95 (45+50) 87 (45+42)
J. R. Smith (New Orleans) 90 (45+45)
Chris Andersen (New Orleans) 77 (41+36)

2006

Player First round Finals Tie-break
Nate Robinson (New York) 93 (49+44) 94 (44+50) 47
Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia) 95 (45+50) 94 (50+44) 46
Hakim Warrick (Memphis) 86 (44+42)
Josh Smith (Atlanta) 81 (41+40)

2007

Player First round Finals
Gerald Green (Boston) 95 (48+47) 91 (41+50)
Nate Robinson (New York) 90 (45+45) 80 (39+41)
Dwight Howard (Orlando) 85 (43+42)
Tyrus Thomas (Chicago) 80 (37+43)

2008
The final round was decided by fan voting via text messaging for the first time.

Player First round Finals
Dwight Howard (Orlando) 100 (50+50) 78%
Gerald Green (Minnesota) 91 (46+45) 22%
Jamario Moon (Toronto) 90 (46+44)
Rudy Gay (Memphis) 85 (37+48)

2009
The final round was decided by fan voting via text messaging.

Player First round Finals
Nate Robinson (New York) 87 (46+41) 52%
Dwight Howard (Orlando) 100 (50+50) 48%
J.R. Smith (Denver) 85 (43+42)
Rudy Fernández (Portland) 84 (42+42)

2010s[edit]

2010
The final round was decided by fan voting via text messaging.

Player First round Finals
Nate Robinson (New York) 89 (44+45) 51%
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto) 92 (42+50) 49%
Gerald Wallace (Charlotte) 78 (38+40)
Shannon Brown (L.A. Lakers) 78 (37+41)

2011
The final round was decided by fan voting via text messaging.

Player First round Finals
Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers) 95 (49+46) 68%
Javale McGee (Washington) 99 (50+49) 32%
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto) 94 (44+50)
Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma) 90 (45+45)

2012
The format for this season was changed so that each participant had 3 dunks, and the results would be entirely decided by fan voting online, via text messaging, and (for the first time) via Twitter.

Player Voting results
Jeremy Evans (Utah) 29%
Chase Budinger (Houston) 28%
Paul George (Indiana) 24%
Derrick Williams (Minnesota) 19%

2013
The final round was decided by fan voting via text messaging.

Player First round Finals
Terrence Ross (Toronto) 99 (50+49) 58%
Jeremy Evans (Utah) 90 (47+43) 42%
Eric Bledsoe (L.A. Clippers) 89 (39+50)
Kenneth Faried (Denver) 89 (39+50)
Gerald Green (Indiana) 83 (50+33)
James White (New York) 77 (45+32)

2014
A team format was adopted this year. The first round was a Freestyle Round, with the winning team choosing the order of dunkers for the Battle Round. The Battle Round was then composed of one-on-one "battles", with the first team to three victories being the champion.

Freestyle Round
Division Members Result
East Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Won
West Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers
Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
Battle Round
Division Player Result
East Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors Won
West Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers
East Paul George, Indiana Pacers Won
West Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
East John Wall, Washington Wizards Won
West Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings

Team East are considered the official champions, but John Wall was voted by fans as the Dunker of the Night.

Criticism[edit]

Historically, the dunk contest drew some mild criticisms. One of those includes how the dunk contest is extremely limited as there are only so many times one can be impressed with a 360 dunk or a slightly modified windmill. Because of the physical limitations of the human body, innovation can become dry very quickly. But the 2005 NBA Slam Dunk Competition proved that there is room for innovation, especially using props.

Another criticism is that players who often compete in these contests are seen as dunkers only (with the obvious exceptions of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Julius Erving), which is why notable high flying athletes like Shawn Marion have sometimes refused to participate. High profile players such as Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley have also declined to participate citing it as an unnecessary risk to injury. In the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Tracy McGrady injured his wrist while performing a dunk. Also in the 1995 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Tony Dumas hurt his knee while performing his "Texas twister" dunk. Although a longtime critic, LeBron James said he would perform in the 2010 slam dunk contest. This decision was made after watching the 2009 dunk contest when Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson went at it. However, he withdrew his statement once the All-star weekend came around.

The 2006 NBA Slam Dunk Competition between Nate Robinson and Andre Iguodala drew much criticism because players were not penalized for missing a dunk attempt. Consequently, Robinson attempted a single dunk 14 times before completing it.[9] Prior to the 2007 competition, the NBA changed a few rules to prevent excessive dunk attempts. Each participant has two minutes to complete their dunk. At the end of the two minutes allotted, they then have their number of dunk attempts limited to two.

Records[edit]

  • Vince Carter posted the highest score in any round with 149 in the 2000 first round.
  • Kobe Bryant is the youngest player to win the slam dunk championship at the age of 18, a record he still holds.
  • At 5'7", Spud Webb is the shortest player to win the NBA slam dunk contest (Nate Robinson is 5'9). Ralph Sampson, at 7'4", is the tallest player to compete in the dunk contest, while Dwight Howard is the tallest winner, at 6'11".
  • Nate Robinson is the only player to win the contest three times.
  • The 2006 NBA Slam Dunk Competition between Nate Robinson and Andre Iguodala was the first time ever that the competition had to go into a sudden-death dunk-off.[10]
  • In 1996, Greg Minor of the Boston Celtics received the lowest individual score for a single dunk, with a 2.0 for a missed first attempt.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/12/sports/walker-wins-one-for-his-father.html
  2. ^ Gardner, Matthew. "Howard’s Sticker Dunk Doesn’t Impress Judges". NBA. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Dwight Howard takes flight on All-Star Saturday Night!". Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  4. ^ "Everything so convenient for NBA in dunk contest. | CelticsLife.com - Boston Celtics Fan Site, Blog, T-shirts". CelticsLife.com. February 20, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  5. ^ "Blake Griffin Won the NBA Dunk Contest: Too Bad It Was Fixed". Bleacher Report. February 20, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  6. ^ "Slam Dunk Contest Rigged?". NBA Fan Voice. February 21, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  7. ^ "Nate Robinson thinks the dunk contest is rigged". Probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  8. ^ "Blake Griffin COULDN’T lose Slam Dunk contest?". Ben Maller. February 28, 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  9. ^ "5-foot-9 Robinson soars to Slam Dunk title". MSNBC. February 19, 2006. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  10. ^ Matt Wong (February 21, 2006). "Robinson wins dunkfest amid controversy - NBA - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-08-07.