Micheal Jordan – 6 time NBA Champ, 2 Time Dunk Champ, HOF
Dominique Wilkins – 9 Time All-Star, Euro League MVP, 2 Time Dunk Champ
Clyde Drexler – NBA Champ, 10 Time All-Star, Phi Slama Jama Class of ’82
Spud Webb – Slam Dunk Champ, 1995 NBA Free Throw Percentage Leader, Worlds Tallest Dwarf
Jerome Kersey – NBA Champ, 1987 Dunk Contest Runner-Up, 43rd in Career Steals
Otis Smith – 1988 Recipient of Jacksonville’s Key of the City, Humanitarian
While any of the competitors could have won a slam contest any given years, the diminutive Spud Webb being a former champ, it was always a two man race between the defending champ Jordan and the NBA’s most feared jam master at the time Dominique Wilkins. Sure enough Nique and His Airness advanced to the finals where the winner would be decided by 3 alternating dunks from each competitor. What followed was the most amazing display of areal ballin’ that has ever been seen to this day. Out of the final six dunks four, FOUR of them earned a perfect score of 50. Wilkins final dunk, a thunderous windmill slam, earned a perfect score of 50 and all but guaranteed a victory. To the dismay of Jordan and the Chicago crowd, he would need to score a 48 to repeat as champion. After unleashing most of his arsenal to get this far Jordan was left no choice but to resort to WMD’s. Starting from the half-court line, Jordan sprinted towards the basket with the ball cupped in his hand. Launching himself from the free throw line, tongue wagging, Jordan slammed home a dunk that brought down the house and won him a second straight title.
Of course that dunk went on to become the famous Nike Airman logo, Jordan’s personal series. Jordan himself would eventually win 6 NBA titles and countless individual awards as well as being the undisputed GOAT player to ever live. As for the Human Highlight Reel, his NBA career was nothing to scoff at but, like most players, he came up short of Jordans success. The dunk contest took a back seat to the All-Star game itself as the games superstars decided not to participate and instead wear lens-less hipster glasses and carry purses. (Dwayne Wade and LeBron James). Will we ever see anything come close to 1988’s dunk contest again? Doubtful but at least we’ll always have youtube clips and sneakers to remind us that once, men flew through the sky riding the wind and incredibly long tongues.