#8 – February 19, 2022: Obi Toppin wins the 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest
The NBA Dunk Contest has become more known for controversy in recent years than for actual dunks. One such head-scratching mystery came in 2021 when Anfernee Simons was named the champion that year. Unfortunately, this meant that Toppin was *cough* robbed *cough* defeated in his Dunk Contest debut.
Thankfully, Toppin returned to All-Star Weekend the following season and would be rightfully crowned the winner. Toppin started off by jumping over someone, switching hands with the ball behind his back, and dunking it with his right hand. It was a beautifully impressive way to begin his night, perhaps it was meant to be a statement that he didn’t come to fool around; this was his year to win it, and he was going to make sure of it.
With his second dunk, Toppin put down another, even more skilled, slam on just his first attempt. Toppin got a running start at the top of the key, threw the ball off the backboard, put the ball between his legs, and finished with a 180-degree reverse two-handed jam. It wasn’t the most powerful or smooth dunk he’s ever had, but it was undoubtedly one of the most difficult. This dunk promptly advanced him to the final stage.
For his last dunk, Toppin drove baseline, once again brought the ball between his legs, tapped the backboard with the ball, and then quickly re-grabbed the ball with the same hand to dunk it. While it wasn’t the crazy “It’s over ladies and gentlemen” kind of dunk that we’ve seen secure the trophy in past contests, it was still clear that this dunk would win Toppin the contest. And so it did.
Even Knick-hater Reggie Miller had to admit that Toppin was well deserving of the trophy by highlighting Obi’s “creativity” on each dunk. Toppin became the first Knick to win the contest since Nate Robinson went back-to-back in 2009 and 2010. This All-Star Weekend memory goes down in New York history and is good enough to land at No. 8 on this list.