Add 6’6″, a wingspan of 6’11″ and a 43-inch vertical and who do you have? Vince Carter. The newest Grizzly and arguably the greatest dunker of all time.If you’re more familiar with the pun Linsanity than Vinsanity then get comfortable — you’ve come to the right place.
In a 2012 interview with The Oklahoman Vince Carter had this to say about his favorite dunkers growing up:
“I was a Dominique fan. I’m a Dr. J fan No. 1. But I studied the art of the dunk for so long. I still have VHS tapes of dunk contests from back in the day that I used to watch to understand the thinking behind every dunk that they were doing. That’s how I approached it, like what was Dominique trying to get out of the two-hand windmill dunk? Was he just doing it to say, ‘Hey, I can do a two-hand windmill dunk?’ Or was he showing technique? I’m more into the technical side. I feel like you understand more about the move that he was trying to do. You have more of an appreciation for it.”
Carter took the torch from MJ and his guy Dominique and carried it to a place dunking had never been. Let’s take a look at Vince Carter’s Top 5 Dunks.
5. VC over TD
This list starts with a dunk from from Nov. 1, 2002. In just the third game of the NBA season Vince Carter delivered a highlight for the entire season. The Spurs led by six at halftime, but Vince came out swinging to start the third quarter scoring the team’s first eight points including this hammer over the eventual NBA MVP, Tim Duncan. Carter receives the pass on the right wing and slashes into the paint past a rookie Manu Ginobili. Carter gets one more step into the lane and freezes David Robinson before taking flight and crushing it over Duncan “with a little Salsa on it!”
4. Between the legs – 2000 Dunk Contest
Let’s get something out of the way right here, right now. This was the single greatest slam dunk routine in history. Kenny Smith quite astutely chimes in after this dunk with, “Oh my goodness gracious, it is over!” as Isiah Thomas goes climbing back over the table after congratulating Vince on the court.
Vince said after the contest that this was his favorite because “that was the first time I had ever done that. That was off the fly. I thought about it right before I went.”
I mean, are you kidding me?
3. Alonzo Mourning gets VINCED.
John Thompson II once said, “If you’re afraid of getting dunked on don’t be a shot-blocker.”
In this classic, Carter is tracking down a shot from Richard Jefferson that had already been blocked away by Mourning. As Carter gets to it and goes behind his back it hits you — there’s about to be an epic meeting at the rim. Alonzo vs. Carter. It was the kind of thing you would’ve ordered on pay-per view without a second thought.
Seeing Vince take the contact and keep climbing is the timeless aspect of this dunk.
Here’s Vince’s take, “So I was thinking, ‘Im going to have to take the hit first, and hopefully I’m high enough to still dunk it.’.
2. 360 Windmill – 2000 Dunk Contest
This was the first dunk from the aforementioned, “Routine of the gods.” Vince is again just winging it as he goes up, and up, and up, and up for one of those “where were you when …” moments. It was so good the judges’ perfect score of 50 felt like disrespect.
This dunk deserves all the points. All of them.
1. Le Dunk De La Mort
“You were a good man, Fred Weis. You stood tall, and proud and never backed down from anyone. You will be missed.”
These words, at least in my mind, were carved into the wooden floor of that gymnasium in Sydney after what would be known as “Le Dunk de la Mort” or “The Dunk of Death.”
OK, so Frederic Weis isn’t dead. He’s actually 37 and retired from French professional basketball in 2011, but man did he ever get GOT. To be standing 7’2″ and get completely summited by a guy 6’6″ has to be pretty demoralizing.
It’s a shame we didn’t have SportsCenter Top 10 in these days or else this week it would be crowned the “Best of the Best” champ for the 730th consecutive week.
Long live Vinsanity.