I suspect it happened sometime after that “Come Fly With Me” video was released. Perhaps it was after Dunk Contest judges at the league all-star game in Chicago served up a bit of home cooking. Whenever it happened, ESPN has bought the fairytale hook, line and sinker. I hope NBA fans don’t have to plumb the depths of archival footage to get to the truth.
I just watched the “Who’s Number 1?” episode about dunkers. The final order of finish was more or less predictable: Jordan, #1; Julius Erving, #2; Dominique Wilkins, #3; Vince Carter #4. The order is just flat wrong. ESPN deserves credit for having Scoop Jackson and Chris Broussard come together at the end of the show to set it right. Jackson and Broussard readjusted the order placing Vince Carter at the top of the list. Dominique Wilkins ranks a close second. Jordan comes in third. Erving is fourth.
Personally, Wilkins has always been my favorite. However, last year’s Vince Carter dunk over Alonzo Mourning forced me to put his superb dunking career in perspective. I believe that one thing the top 4 dunkers have in common is the ability to get/create amazing dunks in games and complete fantastic dunks in contests. Carter and Wilkins, however, have the added capacity to seek/take serious contact from defenders and still finish powerful dunks. Both demonstrated the capacity to be powerful and graceful at the same time. That will get my vote every time.
As great as Jordan was, I can’t rank him any higher than third. Perhaps if I thought he legitimately beat ‘Nique in that Chicago dunk contest I might change my mind – but that’s not likely because if you’ve seen it, you know better.