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Top 5 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest champions in history
NBA slam dunk champions
During the 1980s, the NBA slam dunk competition helped the league grow to heights it had previously only dreamed of. But after the event became a bit stale in the 1990s, the showmanship and athletic ability of the NBA's slam dunk experts revived the competition in the 21st century. As a diehard NBA fan, it is great to see this event, which I grew up watching as a child, come back. Take a look back at the top five NBA slam dunk champions in history.
5. Spud Webb (1986)
Maybe I'm subconsciously grading on a curve. But for a 5'7" man to be able to dunk a basketball is nothing short of incredible. I'm 6'2" and I can't even touch the rim. And the fact that Michael Jordan did not participate in the slam dunk competition at the 1986 NBA All-Star festivities should not be held against Webb. In the finals, Spud Webb scored a perfect 100 points to defeat Dominique Wilkins 100-98.
Some NBA fans may say that Nate Robinson's award winning slam dunk efforts were more style than substance. But as a three-time champion, Robinson has won more NBA slam dunk competitions than any other player. Robinson's most famous dunk came in the 2009 event when he jumped over Dwight Howard(notes), who stands 14 inches taller than Robinson. Besides Howard, Nate Robinson defeated DeMar DeRozan(notes) in the 2010 finals and Andre Iguodala(notes) in 2006.
3. Dwight Howard (2008)
Although Dwight Howard has only been the slam dunk champion once, he should get an assist for helping Nate Robinson win in 2009. Typically, the slam dunks of shorter NBA players gain the most attention and notoriety. But Howard is clearly the best big man to ever win the event. Besides crushing Gerald Green(notes) in the 2008 finals, Dwight Howard is one of just a few NBA players to achieve a perfect score of 100 in the first round (2008 and 2009).
2. Dominique Wilkins (1985, 1990)
Young NBA fans may be shocked at what they're about to read. But in the 1980s, there was serious debate among NBA experts as to whether Wilkins or Michael Jordan was the best young player in the league. What helped feed this rivalry were their legendary NBA All-Star slam dunk competitions. In 1985, Wilkins got the best of Jordan by cruising to a 147-136 victory in the finals.
1. Michael Jordan (1987, 1988)
Before he won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan first caught the attention of casual NBA fans with his amazing slam dunks. In fact, the early slam dunk competitions were seemingly made to order for Jordan's athletic skills. In 1987, Jordan defeated Jerome Kersey in the finals and the following year, Jordan gained a measure of revenge over Wilkins for his defeat in 1985. Michael Jordan is clearly the greatest NBA slam dunk winner in history.
"All-Star: Slam Dunk Year-by-Year Results," nba.com
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