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Vince Carter reflects on historic 1988 Dunk Contest with Michael Jordan, Dominque Wilkins

Vince Carter, Michael Jordan, Dominque Wilkins, dunk, hawks

There is perhaps few more memorable moments in the All-Star Dunk Contest than that of Vince Carter’s unforgettable performance back in 2000. His amazing slams and equally remarkable post-dunk celebrations will forever be etched in dunk contest history.

Recently, the Atlanta Hawks veteran opened up about what the dunk contest means to him. Carter relived how he first fell in love with the spectacle, sighting the historic face-off between Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins during the 1988 dunk contest.

 “I was 11 years old. I was working on the small hoops and I’m like, ‘Ooh, I’m going to do this,’” he said, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. “When I got my chance to dunk at 12 the next year, I tried to do some of those things and learn as I got older. Of course you watched to ooh and aah and see what they’re going to come up with and say, ‘How did he think of this?’ You gawked at Mike’s ability to fly and jump from the free-throw line. Then you look at Dominique’s ability to fly but the power that he had. It’s one thing dunking with power with one hand. But there are not a lot of people out there, even today, who are dunking with that kind of power with two hands and a windmill. Those are the guys I watched and wanted to be compared to when it came down to style, power and grace. Anything you think of in a dunk contest, I wanted to have a little bit of all those guys. I wanted to be part of the history of dunking.”

More than a few folks believe that the historic ’88 Dunk Contest could be considered as the greatest battle in this competition’s entire history. As it appears, even Carter — one of the greatest dunkers of all time — would seem to agree.

As for this season’s edition of dunk contest, it is looking like yet another spectacle to behold. 2008 winner Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers leads the pack, with 2016 runner-up Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic also a confirmed participant. Miami Heat high-flyer Derrick Jones Jr. and 6-foot-5 Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Pat Connaughton round things out in what should be a very promising show.