BSB Archives: Vince Carter won’t rule out the Dunk Contest


Memphis Grizzlies’ veteran Vince Carter has not ruled out a return to the NBA’s All-Star weekend slam dunk contest 17 years after last winning the competition. 

Insane acts of longevity happen in the NBA from time to time. Robert Parish’s ability to play 21 seasons. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s ability to win Finals MVP 14 years apart. Will the next be Vince Carter winning the NBA Slam Dunk contest 17 years apart?

Carter was asked himself recently after throwing down an insane windmill dunk in warm-ups if he is considering a return to the dunk contest. “It’s possible,” Carter told “I don’t know if I’d win, but I think I’d make it interesting, to say the least.”

Everyone knows Carter isn’t the athletic freak he used to be in the early-2000s on those Toronto Raptors teams, but he still has those hops.

This is from last year when his vertical came out as the same as Andrew Wiggins’. By the way, that’s 44 inches, the same height as the legendary David “Skywalker” Thompson, and the prime LeBron James. All that, and Carter was 38 years old.

A perfect 50?

He still has the hops, he’s still freakin’ Vince Carter, but could he actually win it?

The two dunk contest stars from last All-star weekend, Aaron Gordon and Zach Lavine have official records of having a 39-inch vertical leap, and a 41.5-inch vertical leap, respectively.

That picture from above is three inches higher than the contest winner last year and shows that Vince Carter still has better hops than these new kids on the block.

But comparing the dunks of the great 2001 contest, to the 2016 duel of dunks, who wins?

The three legendary dunks from Carter including a reverse-360 windmill dunk, a honey dip dunk, a through-the-legs dunk off a bouncing Tracy McGrady assist and a near two-handed dunk from the free throw line. 

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Do these beat the unbelievable dunks of Gordon and Lavine? No.

Gordon and Lavine have the luxury of coming far later than Carter and have had years to practice these dunks and make them better. This isn’t sacrilege or anything, it’s like saying you’d prefer a pair of Jordan XXXI’s over a pair of Jordan III’s to hoop in.

Vince Carter’s dunks were unbelievable back then and had been plucked out of every hooper’s dreams, then adding in the swagger made the 2001 dunk contest every hooper’s wet dream.

But the hooper dreams have changed. They don’t dream about dunks that have now been commonplace for 16 years, they dream about the craziest, newer dunks, some that Gordon and Levine pulled off last year.

Le dunk de la mort

Gordon and Lavine would probably still win but it would be very close between the three.

However, they will never have a dunk called anything cooler than ‘Le dunk de la mort’.

Or in English,

The dunk of death.

This post was originally published October 18, 2016.