DUNK FAQS

We want to make sure you know all about dunking and the long history of this exciting sports move! Please see fun facts and FAQs below.

WHAT IS A SLAM DUNK?

A slam dunk, also simply dunk, is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air, controls the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and scores by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands. It is considered a type of field goal; if successful, it is worth two points. Such a shot was known as a "dunk shot" until the term "slam dunk" was coined by former Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hern.

The slam dunk is usually the highest percentage shot. Moreover, it is a crowd-pleaser. Thus, the maneuver is often extracted from the basketball game and showcased in slam dunk contests such as the NBA Slam Dunk Contest held during the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. The first incarnation of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was held during the half-time of the 1976 American Basketball Association All-Star Game.

WHEN DID THE SLAM DUNK BECOME LEGAL?

They were illegal in the NCAA from 1967–1976. The NCAA banned the slam prior to the 1967 college season due to injury concerns, citing 1,500 incidents where a player was hurt around the backboard the season prior. The ban was dubbed the “Lew Alcindor Rule” after the UCLA star and slam sultan who would later become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

WHO WAS THE FIRST PLAYER TO SLAM DUNK IN A GAME?

Bob Kurland. He never thought the dunk was anything more than a high-percentage shot. In the 1940s, dunks weren’t a big part of basketball. Nobody celebrated a slam. Basketball was three decades away from the first dunk contest. He is credited with being the first to dunk in a game and to regularly use the high-percentage shot. Bob Kurland led Oklahoma State to two national championships in the 1940s.

WHO WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO DUNK IN THE WNBA?

On July 30, 2002, Lisa Leslie became the first woman to dunk the ball in a WNBA game. That same year she became the first WNBA player to score over 3,000 total career points and contributed to the Sparks winning their second straight WNBA championship that season.

WHO IS THE OLDEST PERSON TO DUNK A BASKETBALL?

According to sources, Julius Erving at age 63 is the oldest man to dunk a basketball. Erving, often called "Dr. J," was the first great dunker in professional basketball. In a recent documentary about him (The Doctor), Erving mentioned that he could still dunk.

WHO WON THE FIRST SLAM DUNK CONTEST?

The very first slam dunk contest was won by Larry Nance Sr. of the Suns at the 1984 NBA All-Star Game.

WHO HAS WON THE MOST NBA SLAM DUNK CONTESTS?

There have been 25 players crowned the best dunkers in the NBA. Nate Robinson is the only player to win the event three times. Five are two-time winners: Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, Harold Miner, Jason Richardson and Zach LaVine.

WHAT'S THE GREATEST DUNK OF ALL TIME?

This is a great question and a very hard one to answer! Here is a list of arguably the 23 best dunks of all time.

 

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