The Top 25 Slam Dunk Contest Jams of All Time

Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Zach LaVine

The Top 25 Slam Dunk Contest Jams of All Time

From Michael Jordan to Vince Carter and Zach LaVine.

Published February 16, 2017

It's that time of year again, as we're just over 48 hours away from the NBA's All-Star Saturday Night festivities, which include the Slam Dunk Contest live from New Orleans.

The 2017 version will feature DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers), Derrick Jones Jr. (Phoenix Suns), Glen Robinson III (Indiana Pacers) and the Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon, who many fans believe should have won the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest.

Before this year's installment, we look back at our Top 25 Dunk Contest jams of all time, ranging from Michael Jordan to Vince Carter, Zach LaVine and more.

Who's hammering home the top spot, though?

  1. Kenny Walker's 360 Windmill (1989)

    Cue up this footage from the 13-second mark and tell us that former New York Knicks forward Kenny Walker didn't have swag, cradling the rock and hanging in the air before flushing this nasty dunk down. Hey, they called him the "Skywalker" for a reason.

  2. Aaron Gordon's 360 Mailman Dunk (2016)

    Having the Orlando Magic's mascot spinning around on a hoverboard and timing the grab, before taking off with this 360 dunk and managing to place his hand behind his head, ala Karl Malone, is just flat-out filthy.

  3. Victor Oladipo's 540 Dunk (2015)

    It took him some attempts, but Victor Oladipo found some way to throw down this 540. Sheesh!

  4. Vince Carter's 'It's Over' Dunk (2000)

    Two words ... "It's over." That's all Vinsanity had to say in the 2000 installment, taking this bounce from cousin and then-teammate Tracy McGrady before going between his legs for this jam.

  5. Steve Francis's Off-The-Bounce Dunk (2000)

    Steve Francis had to really go and get the ball off the long bounce pass, making this dunk all the more mesmerizing.

  6. Dwight Howard's 12-Foot Hoop Dunk (2009)

    Yes, Dwight Howard is nearly 7-feet tall, but don't you sleep on him dunking on a 12-foot hoop. And coming out of a phone booth as Superman only added to its impact.

  7. Dwight Howard's Behind-The-Glass Dunk (2008)

    Although that was the more fun dunk, this behind-the-glass jam's level of difficulty was top notch.

  8. Dominique Wilkins's Off-The-Backboard Dunk (1988)

    Because what would any Slam Dunk Contest rankings be without "The Human Highlight Film?"

  9. Jason Richardson's Twisting, Reverse Windmill (2002)

    The style points on Jason Richardson's dunk right here alone make it an all-time great jam.

  10. Zach LaVine's Behind-The-Back Dunk (2015)

    Look how low Zach LaVine transferred the ball behind his back before gliding in the air and throwing this dunk down. Amazing.

  11. Andre Iguodala's Behind-The-Backboard Reverse Dunk (2006)

    This is one of those dunks that look better in slow motion than in real-time. Wow.

  12. Dee Brown's No-Look Dunk (1991)

    Pumping up his Reeboks and covering his eyes with his forearm at 6-foot-1 back in 1991? Yeah, Dee Brown's no-look dunk stands the test of time. But we're not going to give any love to Cedric Ceballos winning the contest in 1992 with his blindfolded dunk. There's no way he couldn't see.

  13. Gerald Green's Cupcake-Candle Dunk (2008)

    Gerald Green's creativity went from zero to 100 real quick, placing a cupcake with a lit candle on the back of the rim, before attacking the hoop and dunking while blowing out the flame. 

  14. Dr. J's Free-Throw Line Dunk (1976)

    Let's pay homage when it's due. Before MJ ever took off from the free-throw line landing one of the most-iconic shots in sports, "Dr. J" Julius Erving did it way back in the 1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest.

  15. Javale McGee's Double Dunk (2011)

    Javale McGee didn't land on Shaqtin' a Fool for this. Double dunking two balls on two hoops? Not an easy feat to pull off.

  16. Spud Webb's Reverse Dunk (1986)

    Just peep how high the rock sailed over Spud Webb's head, making him stretch out every part of his 5-foot-7 frame to connect on this reverse dunk. Too real.

  17. Nate Robinson Dunks Over Dwight Howard (2009)

    Haters are going to say Nate Robinson used Dwight Howard's back to dunk this. All we see is a 5-foot-9 guard jumping over a 6-foot-11 center. Good grief. Nate Robinson — the only three-time winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

  18. DeMar DeRozan's Showstopper Dunk (2011)

    This might be one of the most slept on dunks in the history of the contest. But slow this one down and see how DeMar DeRozan made this tough jam look easy to pull off.

  19. Jason Richardson's Between-The-Legs, One-Handed Dunk (2003)

    We struggled deciding between the off-the-glass, between-the-legs dunk and this between-the-legs, one-handed-reverse dunk. Both are absolutley mind-numbing.

  20. Zach LaVine's Behind-The-Back, One-Hand-Reverse Dunk (2016)

    How? Why? Just ... how?

  21. Michael Jordan's Leaner Dunk (1988)

    Mention Michael Jordan and the Slam Dunk Contest in the same sentence and his free-throw dunk will come to mind first — as it should. But don't you ever sleep on his leaner dunk (at the 2:40 mark). The way his body was diagonal with the basket and his head on level with the rim made it appear like he was anti-gravity.

  22. Vince Carter's Honey-Dip Dunk (2000)

    The expressions on the faces of Shaquille O'Neal, Steve Francis, Jason Kidd and Isiah Thomas said it all. Quite frankly they had never seen anything like this, as Vince Carter literally jumped high enough to hang from the rim by his forearm/elbow. Unreal. 

  23. Aaron Gordon Sit-Down Dunk Over The Magic's Mascot (2016)

    Jumping over a mascot would have been enough, but Aaron Gordon upped the ante by cradling the ball under his legs and butt and somehow managing to complete this dunk. Pause this clip at the 32-second mark and it's like the Orlando Magic forward is having a seat in mid-air. A Dunk Contest first.

    Ask us and he should've won the contest over Zach LaVine last year.

  24. Michael Jordan's Free-Throw Line Dunk (1988)

    God gave MJ style. That was evident, when he cocked back his arms and legs and ascended into flight, floating through the air in what became a poster on many fans' walls. To this day, his free-throw dunk gives us the chills.

  25. Vince Carter's Reverse-360 Windmill (2000)

    What made the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest the best — in our opinion — is that Vince Carter never missed an attempt. He knew exactly what he was going to do and didn't waste time doing it. And it all started with this ridiculous back against the grain, reverse-360 windmill. Not only did he own the night, but he put forth arguably the best Dunk Contest of all time.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo from left: P Photo/John Swart, Jed Jacobsohn /Allsport, Elsa/Getty Images)


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