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Ranking the Magic’s Top 20 Dunk Contest dunks

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Can Dwight Howard, Victor Oladipo, Darrell Armstrong or any other Magic dunkers top Aaron Gordon?

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Over the years Orlando has had its fair share of participants in the Dunk Contest (click on each for YouTube videos of their performance, courtesy of Ryan Van Dusen):

-Aaron Gordon in 2017

-Aaron Gordon in 2016

-Victor Oladipo in 2015

-Dwight Howard in 2009

-Dwight Howard in 2008

-Dwight Howard in 2007

-Darrell Armstrong in 1996

-Nick Anderson in 1992

-Otis Smith in 1991

So here is my ranking of the Top 20 dunks by members of the Orlando Magic in the Dunk Contest, a list dominated by Gordon and Howard. Otis Smith did not make the cut (and it’s not because he made that Gilbert Arenas trade...or maybe it is).

Feel free to agree, disagree, include a dunk I may have forgot, or make your own ranking in the comments section below.


20. Darrell Armstrong’s Layup (for comedic purposes)

In his final attempt at a dunk before time ran out, the 6-1 Armstrong was out of gas and resorted to a layup at the buzzer. To be fair, his first dunk, a reverse slam was quite good, but had more of an in-game breakaway dunk type of feel.


19. Nick Anderson’s 360 Dunk

Anderson was the hometown favorite at the 1992 All-Star Weekend in Orland. His dunk however is pretty simplistic by today’s standards.


18. Dwight Howard’s Off-the-Bounce, Windmill Dunk

Nice lob and body control by the big man.


17. Victor Oladipo’s Behind-the-Backboard, Windmill Dunk

Olapido’s “Plan B” dunk after failing to convert the 360, one-handed, off-the-bounce dunk was still pretty damn good.


16. Dwight Howard’s Sticker Dunk

The dunk itself seemed quite basic until people noticed the sticker near the top of the backboard, showing Howard’s creativity and his impressive reach.


15. Aaron Gordon’s 360, Between-the-Legs Dunk

Gordon’s first attempt in the 2016 Dunk Contest was impressive, but merely an appetizer for the dunks to come.


14. Victor Oladipo’s Pass-off-the-Backboard, 360 Dunk

If Oladipo had been able to throw down this dunk with authority, it would have been more memorable.


13. Dwight Howard Side-of-the-Backboard Dunk

Bad bounce off the backboard and Howard still emphatically throws down a one-handed dunk.


12. Dwight Howard’s Behind-the-Backboard Dunk

Howard’s wingspan certainly helps, and he loses points for not making the first attempt, but it was a dunk that hadn’t been seen before.


11. Dwight Howard’s 12-foot Hoop Dunk

The actual dunk itself wasn’t spectacular, but great creativity overall. The guy brought out a phone booth and a 12-foot basket and dunked on it with ease.


10. Aaron Gordon Tomahawk, Reverse Dunk

Gordon’s final dunk of the epic 2016 Dunk Contest.


9. Dwight Howard’s Mini Hoop Dunk

Sticking the mini Orlando Magic backboard to the actual backboard was a nice touch.


8. Aaron Gordon’s Drone Dunk

Looking back, I don’t think Gordon gets enough credit for this dunk. The judges were far too harsh. Nothing wrong with incorporating technology. Had he successfully thrown it down on his first attempt, it would be even higher on this list.


7. Aaron Gordon Off-the-Backboard, Windmill Reverse Dunk

Dunks off the side of the backboard have been done before, but not with such an elaborate and athletic dunk. Credit to Elfrid Payton for the perfect set up.


6. Victor Oladipo’s 360-Reverse Dunk

The dunk was innovative without the use of props, which is very hard to accomplish in this day and age. Loved the pre-dunk showmanship, as well. His singing performance even got smiles out of the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.


5. Dwight Howard Tap-off-the-Backboard Dunk

The lob, tap off the glass with the left hand, and slam with the right hand.


4. Gordon’s Between-the-Legs, Over-the-Mascot Dunk

The ranking of Gordon’s dunks in the 2016 Dunk Contest vary greatly depending on who you ask. It’s possible that the degree of difficulty on this dunk could be even higher than the others ranked higher than it.


3. Gordon’s 360 Cradle dunk

The greatness of this dunk seems to get overshadowed by Gordon’s best dunk of the night. The timing, the one-handed cradle, the 360, the Karl Malone-like hand on the head. And, lets not forget that Stuff was spinning on a hoverboard, for goodness sake.


2. Dwight Howard’s Superman dunk

The dunk that gave the Magic their lone Dunk Contest victory. Some will argue it wasn’t a true dunk because Howard essentially threw the ball into the rim. But to even be in position to do that requires some serious elevation. Add in the cape and this dunk is an all-time classic.


1. Aaron Gordon’s “Take-a-Seat” Dunk

The man essentially sat down about seven feet in midair. This is not only the greatest Dunk Contest dunk by a member of the Magic, but arguably the best dunk in Dunk Contest history.