25th Anniversary of the 1st NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1984
The NBA first introduced the Slam Dunk Contest 25-years ago today on January 28, 1984. The first previous professional dunk contest was held 8-years earlier (1976) when the ABA (American Basketball Association) held the event during the halftime of their last ABA All-Star Game.
Julius "Dr. J" Erving stole the show with his dunk where he took off from the free-throw line and officially put the "Slam Dunk" on the map. Dr. J defeated David "Skywalker" Thompson to win the dunk contest at McNichol's Arena in Denver.
The dunk contest now has 4 participants but the first one back in 1984 at Denver's McNichol's Arena would have 9.
The 9 dunkers for the first NBA Slam Dunk Contest were Michael Cooper (L.A. Lakers), Clyde Drexler (Portland), Julius "Dr. J" Erving (Phila.), Darrell "Dr. Dunkenstein" Griffith (Utah Jazz), Edgar Jones (San Antonio), Larry Nance (Phoenix), Ralph Sampson (Houston), Dominique Wilkins (Atlanta), and Orlando Woolridge (Chicago).
Larry Nance defeated Dr. J in the final round to win the Slam Dunk Championship.
There would be 3 future Hall-of-Fame players (Dr. J, Drexler, and Wilkins) from this dunk contest.
Wilkins would be joined by Michael Jordan, Harold Miner, and Jason Richardson as the only 2-time winners of the Slam Dunk Championship.
Defending champion Dwight Howard and 2006 Slam Dunk Champ Nate Robinson are seeking to become 2-time winners. Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies wears the same number 22 as Larry Nance as he makes his second trip to the dunk contest. Rudy Fernandez plays on the same Portland Trail Blazer team as Clyde Drexler back in 1984. Fernandez is making his first trip to the dunk contest.
Dwight Howard will perform his Dr. J "Dunkadelic Retro" Jam in honor of Dr. J and the 25th Anniversary of the first Slam Dunk Contest in '84.
The dunk contest was removed from All-Star weekend in 1998. The strike shortened 1998-99 season didn't have an All-Star Game or dunk contest. The dunk contest was implemented back in 2000 with Vince Carter putting on a show to rival that of Jordan and Wilikns.
The 1984 Slam Dunk Contest was also the first major event that led to the birth of the basketball and hip-hop culture fusion time period that is known now as The "Dunkadelic-Era" In America 1984-Present.
Past NBA Slam Dunk Champions:
- 2008 (New Orleans) - Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
- 2007 (Las Vegas) - Gerald Green, Boston Celtics
- 2006 (Houston) - Nate Robinson, New York Knicks
- 2005 (Denver) - Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
- 2004 (Los Angeles) - Fred Jones, Indiana Pacers
- 2003 (Atlanta) - Jason Richardson, Golden State Warriors
- 2002 (Philadelphia) - Jason Richardson, Golden State Warriors
- 2001 (Washington, D.C.) - Desmond Mason, Seattle SuperSonics
- 2000 (Oakland) - Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors
- 1999 - Lockout - Shortened Season, No NBA All Star Game
- 1998 - No Slam Dunk Competition
- 1997 (Cleveland) - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
- 1996 (San Antonio) - Brent Barry, Los Angeles Clippers
- 1995 (Phoenix) - Harold Miner, Miami Heat
- 1994 (Minneapolis) - Isaiah Rider, Minnesota Timberwolves
- 1993 (Salt Lake City) - Harold Miner, Miami Heat
- 1992 (Orlando) - Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix Suns
- 1991 (Charlotte) - Dee Brown, Boston Celtics
- 1990 (Miami) - Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks
- 1989 (Houston) - Kenny Walker, New York Knicks
- 1988 (Chicago) - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
- 1987 (Seattle) - Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
- 1986 (Dallas) - Spud Webb, Atlanta Hawks
- 1985 (Indianapolis) - Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks
- 1984 (Denver) - Larry Nance, Phoenix Suns