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Was 2016 the Greatest NBA Slam Dunk Contest of All Time?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

When the 2016 NBA Slam Dunk Contest started on Saturday night, it was pretty slow. To be honest, it looked like we were in for possibly another disappointment. 

If it weren't for Zach LaVine last year, 2015's would have been pretty embarrassing as well. However, things picked up when Aaron Gordon and LaVine started to put on a show. 

From Gordon's slew of dunks over the Orlando Magic mascot and LaVine showing off his crazy athleticism, this dunk contest was one for the ages. I don't think I've ever seen so many great, 50-point worthy dunks consecutively like Gordon and LaVine were churning on Saturday night. 

In the end, LaVine won in what was a historic dunk contest. While you could say Gordon got robbed on his last dunk (he only got a 47 while LaVine got a 50, though you could argue Gordon's was better or at least equal), this dunk contest was something the fans had been looking for. 

After the contest, many on Twitter and even the TNT analysts ended up arguing if this was the best dunk contest ever. When it comes to legendary dunk contests, you can look back to the old Michael Jordan vs Dominique Wilkins dunk contests and, of course, the one Vince Carter stole in 2000.

But is 2016 really the best dunk contest of all time? I think so. Being a prisoner of the moment could lead to such a statement, but this dunk contest was truly amazing and ranks up there with the bests. 

When you look at the 2000 Dunk Contest, which a lot of people say are the best, you just think of Vince's dunks. Carter ended the contest after his first dunk, and it was just him trying to end it quickly after that.  MJ vs Dominique was pretty good, too. Probably the famous moment would be Jordan's free throw line dunk. 

However, what separates 2016 from all the other ones was the quality and quantity of dunks that were displayed. Gordon had multiple dunks involving him jumping over his mascot, who was riding a hoverboard. With all of them, none were oversaturated. Every single one awed the crowd. 

Name a dunk contest where this has happened:

The man was literally sitting in the air. He was defying the law of physics.

LaVine, too. It seemed like he was on pace to go back to back right when he started, until Gordon started to turn it up right after. After that, it was just a dunk-off between the two.

Honestly, this dunk contest should have ended in a tie if we are being real. I know a lot of people probably wished the contest kept going after LaVine was named the winner. 

The fact that Gordon and LaVine were still able to come up with amazing dunks as the contest just kept going on and on, it was pretty impressive. The way in how every dunk did not disappoint showed how special this one is. 

After LaVine won, he said that he and Gordon did not practice half of their dunks that were on display Saturday night. That is crazy. 

Along with that, this is the first dunk contest probably where there was no clear winner. Many think Gordon should have won, while others still support that LaVine should have won. You could very arguably say this was one was truly a tie seeing how competitive and close these two were in their dunks. 

I have no problem saying 2016 was the best one, but I can definitely see a case for any of the other ones. The question is now is how the league is going to be able top this one?

Unless, of course, we get LaVine-Gordon II next year...

-- Josh Dhani

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