The Slam Dunk Contest has been one of the most exciting and electrifying events of NBA All-Star Weekend since it debuted back in 1984.
There have been several signature moments that are unforgettable in NBA history, ranging from battles between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins in the 1980s, to highflyers like Vince Carter taking center stage in the 2000s, to historic showdowns featuring Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon in the 2010s.
The Slam Dunk Contest has undoubtedly lost its luster over the last few years, with fewer superstars taking part in the event and contestants running out of original ideas that haven’t already been done.
That’s why we’re taking a trip down memory lane to remember and honor the glory days of the event, ranking the 10 best perfect scores over the years.
Below, you can find our ranking for the best 50-point dunks in Slam Dunk Contest history, followed by a running list of every perfect score ever recorded.
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/>Honorable mention to Dwight Howard’s superman alley-oop, which just missed the cut. The showmanship was unforgettable, but he did technically throw it in the hoop.

I had a hard time deciding between Carter’s reverse 360 windmill and the honey dip here. Despite how ferociously he threw down the reverse 360 windmill, the honey dip was so iconic it felt like it had to make the cut.
Carter had kids all over the country lowering their hoops to 7.5 feet and tearing up their elbows in an attempt to replicate his arm-in-the-rim dunk.

/>It feels like this dunk from LaVine didn’t get the respect it deserved because it was compared to so many others in the insane 2016 Slam Dunk Contest (which was the greatest Slam Dunk Contest of all time, in most people’s opinions).
The degree of difficulty to levitate in the air long enough to put the ball behind your back and finish
on the other side of the rim is unfathomable.

We’ve seen players throw the ball off the glass and go through the legs. We’ve seen players jump over people and dunk. Until this moment, we had never seen a player jump over someone, throw the ball off the glass and put it between their legs for a dunk.

Nash deserves as much credit as Stoudemire here, but the timing and precision of this dunk help it crack the top 10. Stoudemire threw the perfect pass off the backboard and Nash delivered an even more perfect header for the 360. The Slam Dunk Contest had never seen anything like this before.

All you can do is laugh when you see this dunk. Webb is 5’7. You are not supposed to be able to do 360 dunks off of a lob at that height. It looks like a video game glitch the way Webb rises up to finish this one.

First off, a shoutout to big men who do the dunk contest, because it’s tough to get creative at 7 feet tall. McGee used his height and length to his advantage, dunking two balls into two hoops side-by-side, one of which was off of a lob.

This dunk will serve as a time capsule at some point, bringing us back to the short-lived days of the hoverboard fad before they started catching on fire. It’s still mind-boggling that Gordon was able to time the Magic’s mascot spinning on a hoverboard, then delivering a 360 windmill with the “mailman” showmanship.
This one was a lot of people’s favorite from the legendary 2016 Slam Dunk Contest, but there was a different Gordon dunk that will appear at the top of this list.

Off the bounce from Tracy McGrady, eye-level with the rim on the eastbay and then the “it’s over” celebration as Kenny “The Jet” Smith screams the same phrase in the background. The dunk itself might not feel top-three worthy, but there is no denying it was one of the most memorable moments in Slam Dunk Contest history.

We saw Julius Erving and Michael Jordan make the free throw line dunk famous. LaVine took it to another level in 2016, going through the legs from (just in front of) the free throw line. That is a level of bounce we’ve never seen before and it very easily could’ve been No. 1 on this list.

I could go on a rant about how absurd this dunk is and why it deserves more love. How many times have we seen a player “jump over” someone when really, the person being used as a prop is bending over to make themselves smaller than they are?
The Magic’s mascot, Stuff the Magic Dragon, is reportedly 6 feet tall and he is standing upright. Gordon doesn’t just jump over him and dunk it — he takes a seat in mid-air as he grabs the ball from the mascot and finishes with authority (on the first try!) with his head above the rim.
There were so many jaw-dropping dunks between Gordon and LaVine in 2016. This one was the best.
There have been 86 perfect 50s in Slam Dunk Contest history. You can find them listed chronologically by year below.
1984: Julius Erving — 1
1985: Dominique Wilkins — 2; Michael Jordan — 1; Terence Stansbury — 1
1986: Spud Webb — 3; Dominique Wilkins — 1; Gerald Wilkins — 1
1987: Michael Jordan — 2; Terence Stansbury — 2; Jerome Kersey — 1
1988: Micahel Jordan — 3; Dominique Wilkins — 2
1989: None (New scoring format)
1990: None
1991: None
1992: Cedric Ceballos — 1
1993: None
1994: None (New Slam Dunk Contest format)
1995: None
1996: None
1997: None
1998: None (No Slam Dunk Contest this year)
1999: None (No Slam Dunk Contest — lockout)
2000: Vince Carter — 3; Steve Francis — 1; Tracy McGrady — 1 (New Slam Dunk Contest format)
2001: None
2002: Jason Richardson — 1
2003: Jason Richardson — 3; Desmond Mason — 1
2004: Fred Jones — 2; Jason Richardson — 1
2005: Josh Smith — 3; Amar’e Stoudemire — 1
2006: Andre Iguodala — 2; Nate Robinson — 1
2007: Gerald Green — 1
2008: Dwight Howard — 2
2009: Dwight Howard — 2
2010: DeMar DeRozan — 1
2011: JaVale McGee — 1; DeMar DeRozan — 1
2012: None (New scoring format)
2013: Terrence Ross — 1; Eric Bledsoe — 1; Kenneth Faried — 1; Gerald Green — 1
2014: None (New Slam Dunk Contest format)
2015: Zach LaVine — 2; Victor Oladipo — 1
2016: Zach LaVine — 5; Aaron Gordon — 3
2017: Glenn Robinson III — 2; Derrick Jones Jr. — 2
2018: Donovan Mitchell — 2; Larry Nance Jr. — 1; Dennis Smith Jr. — 1
2019: Dennis Smith Jr. — 2; Hamidou Diallo — 1; Miles Bridges — 1
2020: Aaron Gordon — 5; Derrick Jones Jr. — 4; Pat Connaughton — 1
2021: None
2022: None




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