Yeah, we’re also into that “best of the decade” kind of stuff, ranking the winners of the decade’s dunk competition with the videos to back our decisions.
Number 10 – Fred Jones, 2004
Never a great player, Fred Jones plays his basketball today for Pallacanestro Biella in the Italian league. He won during those relatively boring and unimaginative years of 2001-2004, thanks to his power and leaping ability and not for doing anything too original. I think people were bored with J-Rich winning it and gave it to the Pacers guard instead.
Number 9 – Desmond Mason, 2001
Mason is another player out of the NBA right now after starting the season with the Sacramento Kings but getting waived early on. Mason was the first to win a dunk contest this decade for leaping over someone, something that has brought victory to a few others in the 00’s, jumping over teammate Rashard Lewis.
Number 8 – Gerald Green, 2007
Another player who’s no longer playing his basketball in the NBA (sensing a pattern here?). Green’s most impressive dunk of the competition came when he leaped over Nate Robinson, covering his eyes a-la Dee Brown from 1991, wearing Brown’s jersey. Dwight Howard’s sticker dunk was my favorite, but you can’t always get what you want. Howard would win it a year later.
Number 7 & 6 – Jason Richardson, 2002-2003
Although not classic dunks or competition, Richardson is the only player besides Michael Jordan to win consecutive dunk contests. He should have three wins, but as I mentioned earlier, Fred Jones beat Richardson in the 2004 finals.
Nothing too special, but he wins it again in 2003 –
Number 5 – Nate Robinson, 2009
The “Kryptonate” dunk, giving Robinson his second dunk contest title. Although the leaping over someone dunk is getting a bit repetitive, the whole show and reference to the previous year with Kryptonite and Superman made this dunk special. That, and fans usually have a soft spot for little guys dunking.
Number 4 – Josh Smith, 2005
This was the year that brought the dunk contest back it’s glitz and glamor, taking place in Denver, where the first one happened. Josh Smith’s dunk over a sitting Kenyon Martin was the best out of a very impressive night with some fancy stuff from Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith.
Number 3 – Dwight Howard, 2008
Dwight Howard didn’t really dunk that ball, but the whole Superman thing was so impressive that it didn’t really matter, as he won the title he deserves after missing out in 2007.
Number 2 – Nate Robinson, 2006
A 5’7 guy jumping over the smallest player to win the dunk contest? Gotta love it, with Spud Webb calmly watching Nate Robinson hover above his head, on a night where many felt Iguodala was the one who deserved to win.
Number 1 – Vince Carter, 2000
An amazing tour-de-force by one of the best athletes to play in the NBA. Back in 2000, he was the current “next Michael Jordan” and his amazing performance in that dunk contest is arguably the best in history (yes, better than the Wilkins-Jordan dunkethon).