The recently concluded NBA All-Star Weekend is still the talk of the town among hoops aficionados, and we bet the entire week only bears three topics to talk about: how your valentine’s date went, how much tikoy was consumed, and this one.
We have featured an explainer on Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year the week before, so we figured we could use a little catching up on the hoops side. Here’s a chip off the monster list that is the NBA All Star Weekend.
The NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Since its formation in 1984, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest has been witness to many eventual legendary players, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant included. Before all those championships came along, Jordan was a two-time title-holder in 1987-88 and Bryant held his own title, 10 years after in 1997.
Vince Carter and Jason Richardson made a name for themselves at this juncture, but Spud Webb’s 1986 victory was a first. The 5 foot 7 Atlanta guard—the first non-6-footer—surprised everyone in sight in a close-knit showdown between teammate and 2-time winner Dominique Wilkins.
But history has a habit of repeating itself; thrice in fact. The past five years has been conquered by NYK guard Nate Robinson, making him a three-time champion. The 5 foot 9 Robinson managed to snag the dunk title in 2006, 2009, and 2010, quite a feat for a guy with small stature. The Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks hold the record for most wins with 4 each.
Only in the Slam Dunk Contest will you see ultra-creative moves such as the “Sticker Dunk” by Dwight Howard, Vince Carter’s inverted “360 Windmill”, and Gerald Green’s “Birthday Cake Dunk.”
The most memorable one, however, was the free throw line double clutch jam made by the air Jordan himself in 1987.
Check out the top ten dunks:
The NBA 3-Point Shootout
Created in 1985, the 3-point shootout spells R-E-P-E-A-T among many of its winners. Larry Bird dominated the first three years, while Craig Hodges soon followed with another three victories.
Players with two wins include Mark Price back in 1992-94, Jeff Hornacek in 1997-99, Peja Stojakovic in 2001-03, and Jason Kapono in 2006-08.
Winning this shootout strikes a big deal among contestants, as it proves effective in making players garner significant roles in their respective teams later on.
Just ask Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki, and Glen Rice, who each took one home. The latest player labeled as a certified sharpshooter is Paul Pierce, who scored 20 3-point shots to win this year.
WORDS BY: MIKEY AGULTO