There was a point in time where the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was the apex of the season. The All-Star Game was nice, but the real show took place the night before. Since 1984 it was where NBA players showcased their skills and place legendary moments called home. It wasn’t as much about the dunks as much as it was about the way the player controlled the judges and crowd. It was showmanship at its finest.
As the years went by the dunk contest has lost its edge, lost its significance, lost its talent. Aside from 2011 when Blake Griffin participated there hasn’t been a premier dunker in the contest. Superstars like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, stars that everyone would want to see, have sat the contest out. And the credibility of the event has suffered.
The league has tried to resurrect the contest with little kinks like last year’s horrible “team dunk off”, but much like the business cycle, the best way to fix the contest is to leave the rules the same and hope the stars return.
In the meantime let’s dig through the annals of YouTube and highlight the top ten players to win the NBA Dunk Contest and reminisce on what used to be.