Although the NBA All-Star Game is often a pretty exciting contest featuring the best basketball players in the world, the most anticipated and discussed portion of All-Star weekend itself is usually Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest, where the league’s high-flyers take center stage and put on a show for us. Granted, there have been duds in the past – who could forget 2005, when Chris “Birdman”Andersen dominated headlines with one of the worst performances the contest has ever seen – but it usually delivers. And when they do deliver, fans are presented with some of the craziest dunks ever, which are met with perfect scores from judges.
Nate Robinson, the winningest player at the dunk contest with four titles, only had one perfect score… which tells you something about the quality of the contests he won. But we digress. Here are the players with the most perfect scores at the event.
1. ZACH LAVINE, SEVEN
Power, explosiveness and creativity, Zach LaVine has taken home two Slam Dunk Contest championships, one in 2015 and 2016, where he received a ridiculous seven perfect scores from judges. That windmill dunk from the free-throw line doesn’t get enough credit as one of the greatest slams ever. LaVine is also remembered for taking part in the 2016 contest, which many consider one of the most thrilling ever when the shooting guard faced off with Aaron Gordon, and the duo put on an unforgettable show.
2. MICHAEL JORDAN, SIX
The original free-throw-line dunker, part of Michael Jordan’s incredible legacy is built up by the fact he won two Slam Dunk Contests back-to-back years in 1987 and 1988, and his sheer level of excellence in those competitions. Jordan ranks second all-time in perfectly scored dunks with six, and though he competed in those dunk contests over 30 years ago, his influence can still be felt today.
3. JASON RICHARDSON, FIVE
One of the greatest dunk contest performers of this century, Jason Richardson set the basketball world aflame with his showing in the 2002 and 2003 competitions, showing insane explosiveness with his finishes. Richardson really mastered every single method of throwing down a windmill, with many of them coming after he’d put the ball between his legs, no less.
3. DOMINIQUE WILKINS, FIVE
One of the forefathers of the vicious slam, Dominique Wilkins wowed audiences with his blend of size, explosion and power, throwing down dunks that made arenas echo and vibrate with sound. Wilkins won two Slam Dunk Contests, one in 1985 and one in 1990, earning five perfect-score slams in the two competitions.
5. DWIGHT HOWARD, FOUR
Besides Dwight Howard’s obvious freakish athleticism for a man of his size, his sense of showmanship is what helped set him apart in this setting, particularly when he donned the Superman cape and threw down that memorable lob from the free-throw line.
6. VINCE CARTER, THREE
It’s over. Let’s go home. Arguably the greatest call in Slam Dunk Contest history, made by Kenny Smith, followed an equally unforgettable performance in the competition by Vince Carter in 2000, where he scored three dunks that garnered perfect ratings. Carter would probably rank higher on this list had he taken part in the dunk contest more than once, but, at the same time, his one showing being that spectacular is pretty legendary.
6. AARON GORDON, THREE
Had it not been for LaVine, Aaron Gordon would have been the 2016 Slam Dunk Contest winner. As is, there’s a good portion of the public who believe Gordon was the rightful winner that night, as he threw down some of the most insane dunks the competition has ever seen, including a below the legs windmill after taking the ball away from the Magic mascot. Incredible. Maybe Gordon will finally be able to take home first place in the contest this weekend, on what he says will be his final try.
6. JOSH SMITH, THREE
An underrated high-flyer in his heyday, Josh Smith, the explosive lefty, won the 2005 Slam Dunk Contest with the most memorable slam being when he caught the ball from a seated teammate, who was halfway between the free-throw line and the basket, and didn’t just dunk it, but windmilled it. Insanity.
6. TERENCE STANSBURY, THREE
A dunker extraordinaire back in the ’80s, Terence Stansbury’s NBA career merely lasted three seasons, and he’s the only player on our list to not win a Slam Dunk Contest, though he had the misfortune of competing against Jordan and Wilkins, making it a rather difficult field to face off with. Even so, Stansbury threw down some incredible dunks in this competition back in the day, often looking like he was walking through the air when he’d leave his feet.
6. SPUD WEBB, THREE
An old-school fan favorite thanks to his otherworldly leaping ability in a 5-foot-7 package, Spud Webb absolutely dazzled fans and judges alike in 1986 when he threw down some of the most improbable dunks in the competition’s history. The 360-dunk, especially, just doesn’t make any sense based on the laws of physics.