It's hard to imagine that there was a time when the dunk wasn't the most popular shot in basketball or that it's slowly being overtaken again by the three-point shot. However, prior to the first Slam Dunk Contest in 1984, dunking was a skill usually reserved for a few select players. With the Slam Dunk Contest and the rise of the Michael Jordan era, the game of basketball changed drastically in the late '80s and '90s.
Since the introduction of the Slam Dunk Contest, there have been 26 winners who have impressed fans with their dazzling ability to lift their bodies as they float through the air performing magical maneuvers before they slam the ball into the hoop. These players will forever hold the crown of being a Slam Dunk Contest winner, even though some of them had less than stellar basketball careers in the NBA.
Can you recall all 26 Slam Dunk Contest winners since 1984? Are you able to remember back to the early days of the competition when stars first competed against one another? Do you know which rookies won the award throughout the years or which players won the award multiple times? Here's a quiz where you can find out just that!
Get started and see if you can get a slam dunk on this quiz!
Larry Nance spent his 13-year NBA career with the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers. His most productive years were with the Cavs, who retired his number 22.
Dominique Wilkins was selected to the All-Star Game nine times in his NBA career. His first selection was in 1986, when Wilkins led the league in scoring.
Because of his small stature, Spud Webb wasn't heavily recruited coming out of high school. He decided to attend Midland College, a junior college which won the national title with Webb on the team in 1982.
If Michael Jordan was anything, it's a winner. Jordan finished his career with six NBA championships, winning three straight titles before retiring with the Bulls in 1998.
Kenny Walker had an outstanding college career playing for the University of Kentucky. He was twice named the SEC Player of the Year and was named a first-team All-American in 1986.
After being drafted with the 19th pick in the 1990 NBA draft, Dee Brown showed immense promise in his rookie season. Not only was he named the Slam Dunk Contest champion, but he also made the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
Cedric Ceballos helped the Suns reach the NBA Finals in the 1992-93 season. During the season, he also led the league in field goal percentage.
Harold Miner won two NBA Slam Dunk Contests while playing for the Miami Heat. However, his on the court play never matched his dunking ability, and he was out of the league after only four seasons.
Isaiah Rider spent his first two college seasons at Allen County Community College and Antelope Valley College. After short stints at both schools, he finished his college career at UNLV.
Brent Barry comes from a basketball family. His father was the legendary Rick Barry, who won a championship with the Warriors in 1975, and his four brothers have found some professional success in various leagues.
Kobe Bryant entered the NBA right out of high school at the age of 18. He won the Slam Dunk Contest his rookie season, making him the youngest winner ever.
With the ability to jump out of the gym, Vince Carter was known for posterizing defenders early in his NBA career. Injuries eventually caught up to the legendary dunker, and his athleticism started to dip even as his production remained consistent.
Desmond Mason had arguably his best NBA season in 2004-05 while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. That year, he averaged a career-high 17 points while playing 36 minutes per game.
Drafted out of Michigan State, Jason Richardson came into the NBA ready to make a name for himself. In his rookie season, Richardson won the Slam Dunk Contest as well as the NBA Rookie Challenge MVP.
Fred Jones spent his first few seasons playing behind veteran Reggie Miller on the Indiana Pacers. Miller's final season with the Pacers in 2004-05 was Jones' best season with the team as he averaged over 10 points per game for the only time in his NBA career.
Josh Smith became a defensive standout during his time in the NBA. He finished his career averaging nearly two blocks per game.
Nate Robinson was drafted by the Suns in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft. However, he was immediately traded to the Knicks where he played for four and a half seasons.
Gerald Green helped the Houston Rockets reach the Western Conference Finals in 2018. The Rockets pushed the heavily favored Golden State Warriors to seven games, losing by single digits in Game 7.
Dwight Howard watched as the NBA changed right from under his feet. As his career progressed, the NBA no longer needed big men like him to be a star as the league came to rely more on three-point shots.
Blake Griffin was a primary member of "Lob City" as part of the Clippers. Other members included Chris Paul, who threw the lobs, and DeAndre Jordan, who could dunk as well.
A second-round draft pick, Jeremy Evans has never played a full season in the NBA. He's also had stints in the EuroLeague, where he currently plays.
Terrence Ross scored the only 50-point game of his career in 2014 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Amazingly, he accomplished this despite only averaging 9 points throughout the season.
In 2017, John Wall signed a four-year contract worth $170 million with the Washington Wizards. Injuries and a lack of team unity have kept Wall from living up to the contract.
In the summer of 2018, Zach LaVine signed a four-year contract with the Sacramento Kings. However, the Bulls matched the offer, forcing LaVine to return to Chicago.
Glen Robinson III is the son of former NBA player Glenn Robinson Jr. His father was an NBA champion in 2005 with the San Antonio Spurs.
Donovan Mitchell led the Utah Jazz to the playoffs during his rookie season. He almost won the Rookie of the Year award but was beaten out by Ben Simmons.