It's Wednesday morning, two and a half days since I returned from NBA All Star Weekend in Vegas, and I've still got a plaster-cast smile on my face. This is attributable to many things: my miraculous blackjack comeback against a 70 year-old dealer named Dawn, who consistently referred to herself as The Velvet Assassin; the fine dining; the substance abuse; the fact that I saw Kevin Garnett rock some low-level breakdance moves at a club in the Venetian; the temperatures that tripled those on the east coast; and closest to our purposes, that this year's Slam Dunk contest was the most
entertaining and collegial in years.
Like most kids born after Dr. J, despite some periods of being frustrated with the ease of the dunk (compared, say, to the supreme classiness of the finger roll), I've possessed a lifelong fascination with the maneuver. Saturday afternoons, when not spent practicing medical procedures on snails, were wasted away with dunk contests on the six-foot hoop in the backyard. (The YouTube Hunter, for the record, has never been blessed with height, jumping ability, or athletic talent.) My Jordan taking off from the free throw line poster
hung across the room from my Dominique windmill one. And on and on and on. I won't bore you with further personal details, but suffice it to say that in my book, dunks = nice.
So let's kick off the Tubes with a highlight reel of this year's contest, which while unable to boast any dunks that we'll be talking about for years, was damn high entertainment:
Now, here's NBA TV's list of the Top 10 best Slam Dunk Contest dunks. It's not a bad list, although I'd futz with their rankings, which seem tainted by the recency effect. Also, be ready to hear one of the best announcer calls in memory: "We need to get him
a get well card because he's sick right now."
Lastly, I'll leave you with four of my favorite dunks. Unfortunately, three of them were executed by UNC Tar Heels, and one of them is against Duke, but thereÂ¹s no use in letting bias get in the way of beauty.
I love the Vince Carter over the French guy dunk. That gets the
jingoism going every time. Anyway, feel free to leave your favorite dunks in
the comments section. Holla!