A Short History of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Fri Mar 05, 2021
NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Michael Jordan dunking
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As a young child, I remember the NBA Slam Dunk Contest being one of my favorite sporting events of the year. One of my most vivid memories as a youngster is when I watched Michael 'Air' Jordan seemingly fly from the free-throw line, his legs spreading in that now iconic image, and slamming the ball through the hoop.
And just like that, I was hooked.
The history of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest is filled with ups and downs. The very first contest was held in 1976, during the now defunct ABA All Star Game. Julius Erving won that contest while representing the New York Nets. There were a few attempts to have a dunk contest throughout the next few years, but there wasn't an official dunk contest until 1984, when Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns took home the title. Thus began the NBA Slam Dunk Contest's heyday.
Everything was going so well in the 1980's, but things began to change at the turn of the decade. Top notch players began sitting the contest out for various reasons and the public then followed suit. Kobe Bryant won the contest during his rookie season in 1997 and then there was a three year hiatus where it looked as if we might have seen our final slam dunk contest.
Thankfully the dunk contest was brought back after for the 2000 All Star game and seen a resurgence in recent years. Vince Carter won the 2000 contest and effectively brought the contest back from the dead. While it may not be as popular as it was in the 1980's, it is still something that I, and countless others, look forward to every year during All-Star weekend.
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Next man up.
2700 days ago
Would really help to bring the audience back in a big way to the event if actually big NBA stars participated. Lebron James in this year's dunk contest would triple the ratings, easy.