The young fellas don’t understand. They’re spoiled by YouTube and high definition and instant analysis and GIFs and Twitter. Back in the day, you had to hit up NBA.com for highlights, and then crane your neck to watch a pixelated video that was no bigger than your business card. Still, at least we were lucky enough to have that because if not, Vince Carter‘s legend wouldn’t be nearly as lethal.
During a summer in middle school, I remember hearing rumors of a Vince Carter windmill alley-oop at the Rucker. I wanted to believe it, but you know how it is with playground basketball stories. A guy touches the top of the box and two years later people are on the street saying he grabbed the top of the backboard. These things grow, running further and further from the truth. So when video of the infamous windmill alley-oop did finally emerge (yep, that’s an old school HoopsTV video), it was one of the best moments of my life.
Carter’s dunking exploits were so explosive you could make a “Vince Carter warmup dunk mix” and it’d make sense. I recently dropped a piece on all the most memorable times that he planted a facial on a famous Georgetown center. Today, I’m highlighting Vinsanity’s greatest windmills with only one rule: they had to have happened in a NBA game. That means no celebrity events and no USA games. Enjoy.
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10. WINDMILL VS. NEW YORK
Baseline windmills are always tricky because of the odd positioning. With the backboard right there, and most likely defenders coming at you from the middle, you can get yourself caught underneath the rim. Here, VC is all alone and shows why you should never jump with him.
9. WINDMILL VS. INDIANA
As the headline says, this one is more of a mini windmill. But it gets extra points for VC doing it without any dribbles and with Anthony Johnson literally right underneath him. It takes some big-time dunking confidence to see a player running straight at your stomach and then still having the guts to go up for a windmill in his mug. Nasty.
8. WINDMILL VS. DALLAS
Look at Juwan Howard‘s face! He’s at the wrong place at the wrong time and wants to blame his teammates for screwing up. Well, at least he had a good seat for this one.
7. WINDMILL VS. UTAH
It was kind of embarrassing to watch VC tear up the league after being traded from Toronto to New Jersey. I couldn’t imagine what it was like for Raptor fans — the guy went from shooting 41 percent, averaging under 16 points and giving virtually no effort on the glass (3.3 boards a night) to shooting 46 percent while averaging nearly 28 points a game. Wince Carter found his legs again too, catch nightly lobs from Jason Kidd. This dunk wasn’t a lob, but the way Carter gathers himself off one step — with no dribbles — and puts home a nasty windmill is insane.
6. WINDMILL VS. CLEVELAND
Yes, it was only a breakaway. But VC’s ability to actually flush home a windmill is almost unparalleled. There’s only a small percentage of NBA players that’ll even attempt a windmill on the break, and that percentage dwindles to only a handful who can get up high enough to finish with such authority.
5. WINDMILL VS. CLIPPERS
The man just windmilled in traffic. That sound you hear is everyone saying “Jesus…” Check out the Clippers bench. One cat almost loses his mind.
4. WINDMILL VS. CHICAGO
A windmill off one foot? That’s a LeBron James specialty. But because VC is the greatest dunker ever, he makes it look easy even with a defender hanging all over his shoulder.
3. WINDMILL VS. CLIPPERS
Windmilling around a defender? Yeah, that’s crazy. You basically never see a windmill outside of an open fast break, but Carter used it here because it was necessary. He gets extra points too because he dunked on Michael Olowokandi, the guy taken four picks ahead of him in the 1998 NBA Draft. Another fail from the Clippers.
2. WINDMILL VS. MILWAUKEE
When I think of the perfect windmill, this is what comes to mind. The takeoff, the arm spin, the finish, the after-dunk celebration, it’s all picture perfect. Not only is Carter the greatest dunker I’ve ever seen at the NBA level, he’s also the most aesthetically pleasing. No one makes this look better. This was also the icing on the cake of a 47-point performance that night.
1. PRESEASON WINDMILL
Before Gerald Green existed, there was Vince Carter, the originator of the alley-oop windmill. This one went down in a preseason game at UNC. Simply sick.
What do you think?
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