The NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest has birthed winners like Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter; all of whom went on to have Hall of Fame to above average careers. Even Nate Robinson is a recognizable name following his three titles. However, where there are pros, cons also loom large. Not every winner of the always anticipated All Star Weekend contest go on to fruitful careers. In fact, many of them fall off the face of the map.
So kick back and start your weekend off right by reminiscing on a few, perhaps ill-fated dunk contest winners of years past.
Gerald Green (2007) — His novelty “birthday cake dunk” literally blew while failing to defend the dunk crown in 2008. After only a few years in the league he made a decision to take his talents to Samara, Russia. Good luck out there comrade. Oh, and how ironic was it that Rashad McCants lit the candle on the cupcake. Life and its tangled web are something else.
Fred Jones (2004) — Last seen getting a contract from a Chinese Pro Team (an oxymoron?) in November 2010 and then soon waived in January 2011. Maybe they changed their mind when saw his electric slide impression while defending Kobe a few years ago.
Desmond Mason (2001) — Showing promise winning the contest as a rookie, the later journeyman player seemed to fit better as trade bait than actually playing. In 2007 he recorded the god-awful “We Dem Hornets” over Camron’s “Touch It Or Not” instrumental. He was last seen playing for the Sacramento Kings last season but waived after only playing five games.
Brent Barry (1996) — Technically, Brent hasn’t lost at life. He had a decent career and currently an analyst for NBA TV. But he’s more known for being the victim of a broken locker room cardinal sin – Tony Parker allegedly sharing a French breadstick with his now ex-wife Erin. That’s what he gets for rocking his warmup jacket during the contest. Who does that?
J.R. Rider (1994) — Remember when the between the legs dunk was awesome in the ’90s? Credit Isaiah Rider as the first NBA player to pull it off in dunk contest history. Too bad Rider’s behavior was another story. Dude basically resembled Latrell Sprewell, Stephon Marbury and Rasheed Wallace rolled into one rappin’ ass shooting guard. His nine year career is rife with blown opportunities, trouble with the law and insubordination with team management. Tis a shame because he could ball a bit before he got 20 a game off of heaving shots.
Harold Miner (1993, 1995) — Ask someone to recall their favorite Harold Miner memory sans-dunk contest. Exactly. His four year career with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers (strange, right?) didn’t net many highlights. In fact, the rumors of his post-hoops career may have been more exciting. Urban legends had buddy doing everything from working at Los Angeles Jack In The Box, to being in the witness protection program, joining the LAPD and lastly, but not least, becoming an ordained minister.
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