Spud Webb wins dunk contest

Spud Webb wins dunk contest

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On February 8, 1986, Spud Webb, who at 5’7” was one of the shortest players in the history of professional basketball, wins the NBA slam dunk contest, beating his Atlanta Hawks teammate and 1985 dunk champ, the 6’8” Dominique Wilkins.

Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb was born July 13, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Throughout his life, Webb had to prove himself as a basketball player due to his relatively small stature. As a high school player, he averaged 26 points per game and was one of 10 students out of 5,000 selected to the All-State team; however, his size prevented him from being recruited for Division 1-A colleges. Instead, he attended Midland Junior College in Texas, where he led his team to victory in the 1982 junior college championship. He then caught the attention of the coaches at North Carolina State University, where he went on to play for two years.

Despite a strong college career, his size initially kept him from making the NBA and after graduation he played in the U.S. Basketball League. In 1985, he had a successful tryout with the Atlanta Hawks and joined the team. Webb played six seasons with the Hawks, followed by stints with the Sacramento Kings, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic.

One of the most memorable events of Webb’s career was his dunk contest win, which took place on February 8, 1986, at the NBA All-Star Game Weekend in Dallas. Webb, the shortest player to ever participate in the competition to that time, went up against men who were, in some cases, a foot taller. In the end, size didn’t matter. Webb dazzled the crowd with his soaring dunks and bested teammate Dominique Wilkins, who had won the 1985 contest by beating Michael Jordan. (The NBA’s first slam dunk competition was held in 1984.)

Webb retired from basketball in 1998, after 12 seasons in the NBA. He was said to have paved the way for other height-challenged NBA players, including 5’5” Earl Boykins and 5’3” Muggsy Bogues.

Spud Webb

Standing only five feet, seven inches tall, Spud Webb was one of the shortest players in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. Despite his diminutive size, Webb enjoyed superstardom as a small man in a big man's game. In what was perhaps the crowning achievement of his twelve-year career in professional basketball, Webb won the NBA Slam Dunk Championship in 1986. Looking back on this win, Webb recalled, "No one expected or imagined that a person of my size could win the slam dunk contest. It was the highlight of my career and everybody recognizes me from the slam dunk contest. But I played twelve years in the NBA and performed every year, that's what you really want to be recognized for. There's no way to dodge the stigma that's put on you for winning the slam dunk contest at my size."

Spud Webb wins dunk contest

Spud Webb. I used to love watching that little guy! Maybe because I was always (affectionately) picked on for my short stature… I think there are some lessons we can learn from Spud Webb.

  1. Your insides overrule your outsides.
  2. Failure doesn’t mean quit it means keep trying until you win.
  3. Believe in yourself even if no one else believes in you.
  4. Play the hand you’re dealt and know that victory is near.

What do other voices say about you? Do you believe them? Listen to the voice of Truth that rests inside your heart.


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 to 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 freestyle 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 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 22 competitors throughout the event (one for each team at the time), including future Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Thompson, Alex English, Moses Malone, George Gervin, and Elvin Hayes and took place in multiple venues throughout the season. Darnell Hillman was named the winner that season, beating out the Golden State Warriors' Larry McNeill in the championship round on June 5, 1977 in Portland. [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 Gale Sayers and another judge, former NBA star Tom Hawkins, is a Chicago native) and until the competition in 2020, was considered arguably the most controversial of the slam dunk competitions. Extensive debate continues whether Wilkins 3rd dunk should have scored higher than a 45 and whether Jordan's second dunk, which scored a 47, was a superior creative effort to Wilkins third dunk. The following year in Houston, New York's Kenny "Sky" Walker, a last-minute replacement whose father died just days beforehand, upset Portland's Clyde Drexler, the hometown favorite and Houston native who was seen as the favorite, being that Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins were not competing. 1986 champ Spud Webb finished 3rd, while Shelton Jones finished 4th. Though Jordan & Wilkins still played in the All-Star Game, Jordan chose not to compete due to a minor injury, and Wilkins did not compete in the competition due to a hand injury. [3]

1990s Edit

In 1990, Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks edged out Kenny Smith of the Sacramento Kings to win his second Slam Dunk Contest (first won in 1985 over Michael Jordan). Kenny Smith scored high points for originality with his signature dunk – he started by turning his back to the basket, bouncing the ball backward between his legs and off the backboard, then turning and grabbing it in the air and reverse dunking it. As the 1990s progressed, stars such as Jordan, Wilkins and Drexler sometimes declined to participate and were replaced by less-known players. 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 1998, the Slam Dunk Contest was replaced with the WNBA-NBA 2Ball Contest. In 1999, there was no All-Star Game due to the NBA lockout.

2000s Edit

After a one-All Star Weekend layoff (the NBA did not have an All Star Weekend during the labor-shortened 1999 season), 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 360 windmills, a honey dip, and a between-the-legs dunk off 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]] 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 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. [4]

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 dunk came during the first round, his second dunk overall, when he took off his jersey to reveal a Superman shirt and cape. [5] 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. [6] 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, 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 the hood of a Kia sedan on February 19 in Los Angeles. 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, Florida 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.

To the delight of NBA fans, the 2015 contest was changed back to its original format, as the Freestyle Round as well as the teams were taken out. The 4 dunkers competing were all up-and-coming players: The Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Timberwolves' Zach LaVine, the Magic's Victor Oladipo, and the Nets' Mason Plumlee. LaVine took home the hardware with dunks that included a between-the-legs reverse, a behind-the-back slam in which he caught it in midair, a between-the-legs lefthanded dunk, and finished with a between-the-legs dunk as he caught it off the pole behind the backboard. Similar to Howard with Superman, LaVine did his first dunk with a cultural homage, wearing Michael Jordan's jersey from Space Jam. [7]

Zach LaVine won the 2016 slam dunk contest with incredibly talented dunks, from a windmill from the free throw line to a sensational between-the-legs reverse dunk. [8] Aaron Gordon (runner-up) of the Orlando Magic, Will Barton of the Denver Nuggets and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons also competed. [9]

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. [10] [11] [12] [13] 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 referring to Blake Griffin as the winner. [14]

There have been 25 players crowned the best dunkers in the NBA. Nate Robinson is the only player to win the event three times. Five are two-time winners: Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, Harold Miner, Jason Richardson and Zach LaVine.

Year Host city Player Team
1984 Denver Larry Nance Phoenix Suns
1985 Indianapolis Dominique Wilkins Atlanta Hawks
1986 Dallas Spud Webb
1987 Seattle Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls
1988 Chicago
1989 Houston Kenny Walker New York Knicks
1990 Miami Dominique Wilkins Atlanta Hawks
1991 Charlotte Dee Brown Boston Celtics
1992 Orlando Cedric Ceballos Phoenix Suns
1993 Salt Lake City Harold Miner Miami Heat
1994 Minneapolis Isaiah Rider Minnesota Timberwolves
1995 Phoenix Harold Miner Miami Heat
1996 San Antonio Brent Barry Los Angeles Clippers
1997 Cleveland Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers
1998 New York City The WNBA–NBA 2Ball Competition replaced the Slam Dunk Contest N/A
1999 Philadelphia Lockout-shortened season, no NBA All-Star Game
2000 Oakland Vince Carter Toronto Raptors
2001 Washington, D.C. Desmond Mason Seattle SuperSonics
2002 Philadelphia Jason Richardson Golden State Warriors
2003 Atlanta
2004 Los Angeles Fred Jones Indiana Pacers
2005 Denver Josh Smith Atlanta Hawks
2006 Houston Nate Robinson New York Knicks
2007 Las Vegas Gerald Green Boston Celtics
2008 New Orleans Dwight Howard Orlando Magic
2009 Phoenix Nate Robinson New York Knicks
2010 Dallas
2011 Los Angeles Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers
2012 Orlando Jeremy Evans Utah Jazz
2013 Houston Terrence Ross Toronto Raptors
2014 New Orleans John Wall Washington Wizards
2015 New York City Zach LaVine Minnesota Timberwolves
2016 Toronto
2017 New Orleans Glenn Robinson III Indiana Pacers
2018 Los Angeles Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz
2019 Charlotte Hamidou Diallo Oklahoma City Thunder
2020 Chicago Derrick Jones Jr. Miami Heat
2021 Atlanta Anfernee Simons Portland Trail Blazers

Slam Dunk Contest champions by franchise

No. Franchise Last Time
4 Atlanta Hawks 2005
4 New York Knicks 2010
3 Minnesota Timberwolves 2016
3 Miami Heat 2020
2 Seattle Supersonics/Oklahoma City Thunder 2019
2 Indiana Pacers 2017
2 Toronto Raptors 2013
2 Chicago Bulls 1988
2 Golden State Warriors 2003
2 Phoenix Suns 1992
2 Boston Celtics 2007
2 Los Angeles Clippers 2011
2 Utah Jazz 2018
1 Los Angeles Lakers 1997
1 Orlando Magic 2008
1 Portland Trail Blazers 2021
1 Washington Wizards 2014

Bold denotes winner(s) of that year.

    : 1993 : 1997 : 2004, 2005 : 1988 : 1992 : 2015 : 1996 : 1992 : 2014 : 1996 : 2016 : 1990 : 2001 : 1993 : 2013 : 2019 : 1991 : 2010 : 1997 : 2012 : 1997 : 2000 : 1992, 1993 : 1987 : 1990, 1991 : 1996 : 2019 : 1984 : 2020 : 1994 : 2001 : 2000, 2004 : 1987 : 2010, 2011 : 2019 : 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989 : 2016 : 1995 : 1991 : 1984, 1985 : 2012, 2013 : 2009 : 1996, 1997 : 2000, 2002 : 2008, 2009 : 2012, 2014 : 1991 : 2016, 2017, 2020 : 2007, 2008, 2013 : 2011 : 1984, 1985 : 1997 : 1987, 1989 : 1995 : 1986 : 1994 : 2007, 2008, 2009, 2020 : 2000 : 2011 : 2006 : 2003 : 1992 : 2017, 2020 : 1984 : 2004 : 1989 : 2017 : 1985, 1987, 1988 : 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994 : 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 : 2015, 2016 : 2014 : 2001 : 2001, 2002, 2003 : 2011 : 2000 : 2014 : 1993, 1995 : 1996 : 2018 : 2008 : 1989 : 1984, 1985 : 2018 : 2015, 2018 : 1994 : 1989, 1993, 1995 : 1990 : 2015 : 1986 : 2002, 2003, 2004 : 1994, 1995 : 2017 : 1994 : 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 : 2013, 2014 : 1984 : 2021 : 2018, 2019 : 2005, 2009 : 2005, 2006 : 1990, 1991, 1993 : 1988, 1991 : 1996, 2000 : 2021 : 1985, 1986, 1987 : 1992 : 2001 : 2003, 2005 : 1997 : 2001 : 2007 : 1990 : 2021 : 1986 : 1989, 1990 : 2014 : 2002, 2010 : 2006 : 1995 : 1993 : 1986, 1988, 1989 : 1992 : 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990 : 1986, 1987 : 2012 : 1991 : 1984, 1985

1980s Edit

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)

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) BYE a 132 (43+44+45)
Larry Nance (Phoenix) BYE a 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)

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

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Spud Webb (Atlanta) 141 (46+48+47) 138 (50+42+46) 100 (50+50)
Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta) BYE a 138 (46+47+45) 98 (50+48)
Terence Stansbury (Indiana) 129 b (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)

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

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)

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)

Player First round Semifinals Finals
Kenny "Sky" 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+ 0.0 a )
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

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 "Sky" 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)

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)

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+32.5–0.0 a )
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.

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)

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

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

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

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

No competition was held.

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

2000s Edit

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)

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)

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 Richardson85 (36+49)
Gerald Wallace 80 (44+36)
3 Steve Francis (Houston) 77 (31,40,37)
2 Gerald Wallace (Sacramento) 84 (41,43,36)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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)

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%

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)

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.

John Wall was voted Dunker of the Night.

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

This year saw the return of the voting style that was last used in 2007.

Player First round Finals
Zach LaVine (Minnesota) 100 (50+50) 94 (45+49)
Victor Oladipo (Orlando) 89 (50+39) 75 (31+44)
Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn) 76 (40+36)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee) 65 (30+35)

Player First round Finals Tie-break 1 Tie-break 2
Zach LaVine (Minnesota) 99 (50+49) 100 (50+50) 50 50
Aaron Gordon (Orlando) 94 (45+49) 100 (50+50) 50 47
Andre Drummond (Detroit) 75 (36+39)
Will Barton (Denver) 74 (44+30)

Player First round Finals
Glenn Robinson III (Indiana) 91 (50+41) 94 (44+50)
Derrick Jones Jr. (Phoenix) 95 (45+50) 87 (37+50)
DeAndre Jordan (L.A. Clippers) 84 (41+43)
Aaron Gordon (Orlando) 72 (38+34)

Player First round Finals
Donovan Mitchell (Utah) [16] 98 (48+50) 98 (50+48)
Larry Nance, Jr. (Cleveland) 93 (44+49) 96 (46+50)
Dennis Smith Jr. (Dallas) 89 (39+50)
Victor Oladipo (Indiana) 71 (31+40)

Player First round Finals
Hamidou Diallo (Oklahoma City) [17] 98 (48+50) 88 (43+45)
Dennis Smith Jr. (New York) 95 (45+50) 85 (35+50)
Miles Bridges (Charlotte) 83 (33+50)
John Collins (Atlanta) 82 (40+42)

2020s Edit

Player First round Finals Tie-break 1 Tie-break 2
Derrick Jones Jr. (Miami) 96 (46+50) 100 (50+50) 50 48
Aaron Gordon (Orlando) 100 (50+50) 100 (50+50) 50 47
Pat Connaughton (Milwaukee) 95 (45+50)
Dwight Howard (L.A. Lakers) 90 (41+49)

The final round was decided by judges.

Player First round Finals
Anfernee Simons (Portland) 95 (46+49) 3
Obi Toppin (New York) 94 (48+46) 2
Cassius Stanley (Indiana) 81 (44+37)

Historically, the dunk contest drew some mild criticisms. One 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 and LeBron James have sometimes refused to participate. [ citation needed ] High-profile players such as Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley have also declined to participate citing it as an unnecessary risk to injury. [ citation needed ] In the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Tracy McGrady injured his wrist while performing a dunk. [ citation needed ] Also in the 1995 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Tony Dumas hurt his knee while performing his "Texas Twister" dunk. [ citation needed ] 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. [ citation needed ]

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. [18] 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.

A dunking duo in Atlanta

The city of Atlanta had something special in Webb and Wilkins. It only made it better than they were on one of the top teams in the East as well. When you talk about Slam Dunk winners throughout NBA history, you can’t forget about Webb and Wilkins.

Wilkins was the one that when he threw it down, you felt it. Then you had Webb at 5-foot-7 who just got up to the rim with ease, and you could throw it down. Those two players will always be remembered in Atlanta.

Year Winner Team Location
2019 Hamidou Diallo Oklahoma City Thunder Charlotte
2018 Donovan Mitchell Utah Jazz Los Angeles
2017 Glenn Robinson III Indiana Pacers New Orleans
2016 Zach LaVine Minnesota Timberwolves Toronto
2015 Zach LaVine Minnesota Timberwolves New York City
2014 John Wall Washington Wizards New Orleans
2013 Terrence Ross Toronto Raptors Houston
2012 Jeremy Evans Utah Jazz Orlando
2011 Blake Griffin LA Clippers Los Angeles
2010 Nate Robinson New York Knicks Dallas
2009 Nate Robinson New York Knicks Phoenix
2008 Dwight Howard Orlando Magic New Orleans
2007 Gerald Green Boston Celtics Las Vegas
2006 Nate Robinson New York Knicks Houston
2005 Josh Smith Atlanta Hawks Denver
2004 Fred Jones Indiana Pacers Los Angeles
2003 Jason Richardson Golden State Warriors Atlanta
2002 Jason Richardson Golden State Warriors Philadelphia
2001 Desmond Mason Seattle SuperSonics Washington, D.C.
2000 Vince Carter Toronto Raptors Oakland
1997 Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Cleveland
1996 Brent Barry LA Clippers San Antonio
1995 Harold Miner Miami Heat Phoenix
1994 Isiah Rider Minnesota Timberwolves Minnesota
1993 Harold Miner Miami Heat Salt Lake City
1992 Cedric Ceballos Phoenix Suns Orlando
1991 Dee Brown Boston Celtics Charlotte
1990 Dominique Wilkins Atlanta Hawks Miami
1989 Kenny Walker New York Knicks Houston
1988 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Chicago
1987 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Seattle
1986 Spud Webb Atlanta Hawks Dallas
1985 Dominique Wilkins Atlanta Hawks Indianapolis
1984 Larry Nance Phoenix Suns Denver

Nate Robinson has won the slam dunk contest a record three times (2006, 2009, 2010). Robinson is one of six players to have won the dunk contest more than once and one of four to win the dunk contest in back-to-back years.

Measuring just 5-foot-7, Spud Webb not only dunked in games, but even won the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He defeated Dominique Wilkins in the final round with two perfect 50-point scores – a feat very few other players have achieved.

Given the fact that Muggsy Bogues didn’t ever dunk in-game, the title of “shortest NBA player to dunk” belongs to Spud Webb. … He defeated Dominique Wilkins in the final round with two perfect 50-point scores – a feat very few other players have achieved.

On February 8, 1986, Spud Webb, who at 5𔄁” was one of the shortest players in the history of professional basketball, wins the NBA slam dunk contest, beating his Atlanta Hawks teammate and 1985 dunk champ, the 6𔄂” Dominique Wilkins.

The point is: women do dunk, but not as many nor as often as men. The first dunk in the WNBA was in 2002, by Lisa LeslieLisa LeslieEarly Career Former professional basketball player Lisa Leslie was born July 7, 1972 in Gardena, California. Standing six feet tall in seventh grade, Leslie hated it when people would ask her if she played basketball. But after reluctantly picking up the sport in middle school, she was hooked.www.biography.com › athlete › lisa-leslieLisa Leslie – Husband, WNBA & Stats – Biography. It took another six years for that to happen during an official game again, in 2008, by Candace ParkerCandace ParkerCandace Nicole Parker As the youngest of Larry and Sara Parker’s three children, Candace grew up under her two older brothers, Marcus and former NBA player Anthony, and fell in love with the game of basketball at an early age.candaceparker.com › aboutAbout Candace – Candace Parker. … It’s obvious, then, that one will not see as many dunksdunksA slam dunk, also simply dunk, is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air, controls the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and scores by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands above the rim.en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Slam_dunkSlam dunk – Wikipedia when watching a female league game.

Spud Webb Height

As mentioned above, the man was 5 ft 7 in tall which by all means isn’t short short for a normal person. Yeah, it’s a few inches below average, but you won’t confuse him for being a midget anytime soon. What makes his height such an unbelievable characteristic is how successful he was in the NBA. Very rarely do you see someone shorter than 6 feet tall in the league, and even that is a stretch to be competitive in that league. Webb was a full 5 inches shorter than that benchmark.

Then again, he stood 4 inches taller than another NBA player Muggsy Bogues! With the few extra inches he had on him, Webb carved a little nicer box score during his playing career. He averaged 9.9 points and 5.3 assists to go along with 2.1 rebounds per game. Those kinds of stats led to a long career in the league, playing professionally from 1985 to 1998.

Spud Webb Dunks

Inarguably the most impressive thing about Spud Webb was his dunking ability. The man had an incredible vertical leap that enabled him to perform high-flying acts that nobody his size should be able to do on a 10-foot rim. Yet, he was able to dunk. That’s an understatement. He wasn’t just able to dunk – he excelled at it!

Don’t believe me? The 5 ft 7 in Webb won the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend. He won the event over his teammate and one of the greatest dunkers of all time, Dominique Wilkins.

Check out the video below of this amazing feat.

Wilkins was surprised that Webb entered the contest, as he had never seen him dunk before in practice. Well, the man could dunk. In the video above, you’ll see an elevator two-handed double pump dunk, an off-the-backboard one-handed jam, a 360 helicopter one-handed slam, a reverse double-pump, and for an encore, a reverse two-handed “strawberry jam” that started with a lob bounce off the floor. Anyone performing those dunks in that era would have won the contest. That these dunks came from a man of his size, it was a no-brainer who the winner was.

How to Dunk Like Spud

If you want to throw down some jams like that, you’re first going to need to work on your vertical jump. Doing plyometric exercises can help increase your jumping ability. On top of that, it sure helps if you’re a lot taller! Below are a couple resources I’ve written that can help you add some inches to your height – try them out!

Get Up Little Man – Spud Webb Wins 1986 NBA Dunk Contest

“Spud Webb is too little. He has no business being in the NBA, much less in the Dunk Contest. He is going to get destroyed. Look at the other guys in the contest – Nique, Gerald, Jerome Kersey he has NO chance.”

What started out as a novelty act, the 5′ 7″ point guard for the Hawks who was rumored to have serious bunnies, turned into something completely ludicrous as the week led up to the event. What we all forgot , and he and his teammates who watched him every day in practice knew, is he was coming home, and he was going to give us a show.

I was in the house that day. Reunion Arena, 1986. The Mavericks were only 6 years into their existence and professional basketball in Dallas was becoming THE sport to be seen at. As the participants warmed up, it was “cute” to root for Spud, but I was a Nique fan. I wanted a repeat.

I should have listened. Highlight told us it was Spud’s to lose, and we all argued, just like the first sentence of this article. Almost all of his dunks were off of the bounce, thrown high towards the rafters and spot on for the dunk. He would jump, up, up, up, and seemingly never, EVER land. Look at the pictures. That is hops.

As I sat in the crowd that day, watching my hero smile as he was defeated, I had visions. I was 5′ 7″, just like Spud. I was a point guard, just like him. And I wore Pony City Wings for basketball that year, just like him. I began working, that day, towards one goal – dunking as soon as possible, and I did it three years later. But I cheated – I had grown to 5 󈧎”.

For all the kids in the crowd that day, or watching at home, who became fans of Webb with every bouncing, twisting, impossible jump, we thank you, Anthony Webb, for inspiring the “little” men to rise to the challenge.

Dunk History: Spud Webb knocks off 'Nique at the 1986 Slam-Dunk Contest

As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History.

Today, Jay Busbee takes us back to a day when a short man broke through basketball's height-prejudiced ceiling . and kept on rising.

Here's a story that ought to be a fairy tale, or maybe a children's book: The Little Dunker That Could. Or, from another perspective, The Sure Thing That Wasn't.

Growing up in Atlanta in the mid-1980s, you didn't exactly have a banquet of exquisite sports options. There were the Braves, still years away from the start of their everything-but-rings dynasty. The Falcons featured the planet's most eligible bachelor in quarterback Steve Bartkowski . and little else. The Hawks, though -- the Hawks had some promise. Though, as always seems to be the case with Atlanta, the Hawks' finest moments came when someone else was just a little bit better.

Dominique Wilkins embodied and personified the 1980s Hawks. He would have been the most electrifying player in the league, were it not for Michael Jordan. He led a Hawks team that legitimately could have won at least one ring, were it not for the Boston Celtics.

But 'Nique's not the whole story here. No, to get a sense of the frustrated potential of 'Nique, you only need look to his teammate, who at five-foot-seven literally played in his shadow.

If Spud Webb didn't exist, high school coaches looking for a way to motivate their teams would have had to create him. Told all along that he was too short to play basketball, Webb just flat-out jumped over his critics and his doubters. He landed in Atlanta in 1985, more than a mascot, less than a credible threat. So it was no surprise that his decision to enter the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest was met with the kind of amused acceptance usually reserved for kids who say they want to be Batman when they grow up.

Check out the crop of contestants at that year's showdown:

Terence Stansbury, Paul Pressey, Terry Tyler, Jerome Kersey, Spud Webb, Dominique Wilkins, Roy Hinson, and Gerald Wilkins. That's roughly 50 feet of humanity and five linear inches of shorts. And no disrespect intended to any of the gentlemen in this photo, but seeing that lineup, you'd bet your mortgage that Nique, the defending champ, would own this one, right?

Not so. Let's go to the grainy videotape:

You can almost forgive Dominique for not taking Webb seriously as a competitor. After all, he'd seen Webb for months in practice, and Webb had apparently never displayed this kind of aerial mastery. (Other possibilities: Wilkins hadn't been paying attention, or he assumed he'd be able to cruise on sheer athletic grace.)

"Spud kind of duped him," then-head coach Mike Fratello said afterward. "He told Wilkins he never had anything prepared, didn't practice for it. So, Wilkins maybe thought his normal assortment would be good enough to get through."

Webb earned a degree-of-difficulty points bump just by making the dunks, yes. But the final lob-reverse was more than enough to get him a legitimate title, one that he's happily ridden for nearly three decades since.

Dominique, on the other hand, had come so close only to fall just short. He'd feel that again in the future, against the Celtics in the classic 1988 seven-game playoff matchup, and against Michael Jordan in the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest. It's become something of a recurring theme in Atlanta. But at least in 1986, the city could claim one champion.

Watch the video: 6 NBA Players That Broke The Rim


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