Originally Posted by #number6ix#
Jason Richardson reverse between the leg dunk off the bounce was better than anything Vince did Jason Richardson off the backboard between the leg dunk was better than anything Vince did. Javale McGee dunk on the two baskets had never been done by anyone javale McGee dunking 3 balls had never been done
I believe you're leaving many pieces out of the equation. Dunking (dunking in a dunk contest in particular) is not just about which dunk you technically make. For instance, I make one handed dunks all the time, but that doesn't mean they're as great as any of LeBron James' one hand jams. Basically, it's just as much about how
a player dunks as it is what dunk he's technically performing.
In Vince Carter's case, he wasn't just introducing new ways of dunking to the general public, he was doing so with absolute peerless style and grace. Further, as mentioned, every piece of shock value was maximized because he made each of his slams on his first attempt. The entirety of a performance can play a very important role in a dunking legacy.
I think Carter had the best of both worlds: some incredible dunks we'd never seen before performed with that aforementioned peerless style grace and ability (cuff windmill clockwise 360, elbow, going between the legs while having the ball passed in midair by teammate) and a 99.9% intent and success rate (one small nick for stepping over the free throw line).
Regarding the dunks mentioned, in comparison to Carter's slams, I do not believe Richardson's bounce between-the-legs dunk is better than anything Carter's done. Watching that Richardson dunk live was great and I still enjoy it. I was very excited and I thought it was awesome to see and whatnot, but I thought the style was a little jacked up. I mean, it's still one of my favorites, but I found that dunk to be an example of a great technical dunk that was lacking a little in the aesthetic appeal. His limbs were kind of all over the place and the ball went down a little weird (with a funky rim grab to boot). To compare to Richardson's own body of work, the between the legs reverse may have been a technically more difficult dunk, but I think his bounce reverse winner the year before ('02) had much, much
more style, power and grace.
I think the backboard between-the-legs can be in the discussion as the best dunk in dunk contest history. I wouldn't flat out say it's better than anything Carter did (I believe Carter's first jam is close to perfect) but I agree there's a chance Richardson's counter could be up there. The reason Carter's performance ends up being more memorable though, again, his contest was a perfect performance. He didn't, for example, attempt the elbow dunk and fail eight times, removing every single piece of suspense.
Regarding McGee, I liked his dunk contest dunks, but his performance struggled a little bit. Once again, anyone who spends half the contest failing their dunk attempts is going to really struggle to make their way into dunk contest folklore. On top of that, it's still not just about doing something that technically hasn't been done before, it's how
you do it. Jeremy Evans dunked while wearing a head camera last year. No one's ever done that, but it didn't make the dunk any less lame (extreme example). McGee did a fine job, but doing something that hasn't been done doesn't automatically qualify a player for a legendary performance. It's just one piece of the pie.
Richardson's my second favorite dunk contest performer over the last 15 years. It sounds like I was knocking on him earlier but I want to be clear that I loved everything he brought to the contest. I was just trying to illustrate why Carter's efforts tend to be remembered on a slightly different plane. He entered the contest one time, with a very large amount of hype, and he turned in a contest that was about as perfect as we'd ever seen. Every single dunk was new, they had impeccable style and he made them all on his first attempt. The only dunk that was kind of a copy? His second dunk, where he more or less copied himself on a dunk he revealed to the world just moments earlier, but added the twist of beginning behind the hoop with a very small run-up.