10 All-Time Dunks That Define All-Star Weekend

The NBA All-Star weekend is fast approaching and you can already feel the electricity in the air. The annual February weekend brings the best basketball players in the world together to dazzle fans with with their skills. Everything is bigger and brighter with superstars looking to exude their dominance amongst the best in the world, rookies trying to make a name for themselves, and everyone trying to claim top honors for all events. But nothing is quite as synonymous with NBA All-Star Weekend as the slam dunk contest.

We’ve seen dunks over cars, dunks over mascots, costumes, people being used as props, and much more. The pageantry is on full display at all times. But there is an elite group of dunks that are etched in our memories that define the NBA’s All-Star Weekend.

Cedric Ceballos

In the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest, Cedric Ceballos wore a blindfold as he ran down the court and gave the fans a two-handed slam that set the crowd on fire. Sure, he may have been able to see through the blindfold, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find another example that exemplified showmanship quite like this.

The dunk helped seal the deal and deliver the championship crown to Ceballos.

Gerald Green

This dunk is perhaps the most innovative dunk that defines the creativity that goes into the dunks we see during NBA All-Star weekend. Fans could not truly appreciate it without seeing this feat in slow motion.

To go up in the air, catch a pass, blow out a candle on a cupcake sitting on the back of the rim, and then dunk it is nothing short of stunning.

Isaiah Rider

Rider was the man who started the between-the-legs dunk. NBA fans had never seen the dunk before so when Rider, rocking the old Timberwolves jersey, went down the baseline and in one motion took the ball from his left hand through his legs to the right hand in mid air slamming it home, the crowd was astonished.

Everyone was trying to process what they had seen including Charles Barkley, who during the televised broadcast said “Oh my God! That might be the best dunk I’ve ever seen.” There have been many imitations of this infamous dunk, but nothing comes close to the original ‘East Bay Funk Dunk.’

Dee Brown

When Dee Brown of the Celtics easily won the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest, there was one dunk that stood out the most — ‘The No-Look Dunk.’

Who could possibly forget the image of Dee Brown pumping up his Reebok Pumps before going down the lane and putting his arm over his face as he dunked the ball? Nobody! There isn’t a kid alive that didn’t go out in their drive-way to lower the rim and practice that dunk.

JaVale McGee

McGee managed to give us a dunk that no one had ever seen performed during any of the previous contests.

The originality of bringing out two goals and dunking on both of them at the same time was the most impressive dunk of the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest. In fact, its criminally underrated.

Related: NBA All-Star Weekend – Top 10 Slam Dunks of All-Time

Spud Webb

If Spud Webb wasn’t  5’7”, no one would have ever remembered his dunk during the 1986 NBA All-Star weekend.

Webb was a little guy amongst giants and the ultimate underdog going against powerhouse dunkers like Dominique Wilkins, and on the biggest stage, shocked the world as he appeared to jump out of the gym.

The dunk that highlighted Webb’s prowess was his dunk where he caught the ball in midair and reversed it at the top of his vertical that helped win the 1986 contest. For a 5’7” guy that is just pure insanity and beyond the realm of possibility — but Webb did it. There is no other example that showcases the true underdog story that can take place during NBA All-Star weekend quite like this dunk.

Jason Richardson

It’s easy to see how Jason Richardson became a two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion with his creativity of mind-blowing dunks like this one.

The timing of this dunk is so incredible that one would have trouble comprehending it even being possible. Richardson caught the ball in mid-air, brought it through his legs, and finished with a one-handed reverse dunk. It was a walk-off dunk in the 2003 Slam Dunk Contest, giving Richardson back-to-back titles

Dwight Howard

There is no other performance or dunk quite as entertaining as the showmanship that went into Dwight Howard’s Superman Dunk when he wore a Superman shirt and dawned the infamous red Superman cape as he sailed through the air before dunking the ball.

No one should care if he threw the ball in more than actually touching the rim. To see a big guy like Howard being so smooth and jumping through the air all while entertaining us, is all that matters.

Vince Carter

This is technically a cop-out, but to only name one of Carter’s dunks from the 2000 contest would be an injustice.

Sure, his Reverse 360 Windmill was unbelievable and arguably the greatest dunk in the history of dunk contests, but how can one ignore the Arm In The Rim Dunk? Or the under the basket Windmill dunk? Or the one where he caught the ball off a bounce pass in the air and took it between his legs for the dunk? Or the two-handed dunk where he started his ascent from only one step in front of the free throw line?

Picking one of these dunks was too difficult of a task, especially when you have a guy who gives dunks that you wouldn’t even see in video games.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan — the man gravity forgot about — is without a doubt responsible for the dunk that most defines the NBA All-Star weekend.

The greatest of all time in the history of the sport is second to nobody when it comes to dunks and this is just a shining example. Jordan taking off from the free throw line, flying through the air, delivering a one-handed double-clutch dunk is still as extraordinary and remarkable today as it was nearly twenty years ago. Dr. J may have coined the move, but MJ perfected it and turned it into a brand. 

Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline Sports, a surfing enthusiast, an unhealthy sports fanatic, and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty


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