Say what you will about Vince Carter, in his prime the man could electrify a crowd like no other.
Arguably the greatest dunker of all time, Carter’s high-flying aerial act helped put the Toronto Raptors on the map. With his latest return to Toronto Wednesday, what better time to look back at his 10 greatest rim rockers?
10) The windmill and roar
Kicking off our list we have the exclamation mark to one of Carter’s best performances ever, a full-extension breakaway windmill slam followed by a primal scream that capped a 47-point night and effectively put that game away.
9) The double-pump reverse
Chris Mullin may be a hall of famer but he didn’t get there because of his defence. In 1999, against Carter in his rookie year, Mullin didn’t have chance. On this play it only took Carter one explosive step before he was gone and going up for one of the nastiest, most awe-inspiring reverse slams you’ll ever see.
8) The crossover and jam
The Los Angeles Lakers began their famous Shaq-and-Kobe three-peat in 1999-2000. One of the unknown players on that team was John Celestand, who played a total of 185 minutes in the NBA. Getting crossed silly and watching Carter fly by for a huge dunk down the lane probably isn’t one of his fondest memories from his time in the league.
7) Dunking on Duncan
Tim Duncan has been on the wrong end of a Vince Carter poster three times in his career, once in college, again this season and then there’s this bit of destruction here—showcasing the full elevation, quickness and power with which Carter could throw down.
6) The “Deke” destruction
Probably Mr. Carter’s most vicious dunk as a Raptor. How nasty is this? Not only does he throw down all over Dikembe Mutombo, one of the most feared shot blockers of all time, he also manages to strike fear in the heart of his cousin, Tracy McGrady. Maybe this is why T-Mac decided to leave Toronto.
5) The one-handed 360
Carter could put down every dunk in the book, but there were some for which he seemed purpose built. The 360 was one such jam. This one was probably his most famous 360, as he went up and threw it down with one hand—something you just don’t do in-game. The little fist-pump shimmy at the end is just icing on the cake.
4) Putting Alonzo in mourning
At the start of this play Alonzo Mourning blocks a slashing Richard Jefferson, an important fact because any ego boost he may have taken from the swat quickly came crashing down, along with his entire body, as Carter went up and dropped a sledgehammer on the proud centre.
3) The best alley-oop ever
My vote for the best alley-oop ever executed starts out looking like a terrible mistake. Dee Brown lobs the ball a good 12 feet from the basket, heading towards the seats. But it’s all good because he had half-man, half-amazing to clean up his mess and turn it into an all-time highlight.
2) “It’s over!”
Shakespeare once said, “We are the stuff that dreams are made of,” but he was wrong. This dunk is that stuff. The jam that sparked the imagination of an entire generation and officially shot Carter into superstar status will still inspire immense pity for Jerry Stackhouse. He had to follow Carter in that 2000 Slam Dunk contest.
1) Le dunk de la mort
Frederic Weis was, by most accounts, a good basketball player. Although he never played in the NBA, he was taken 15th overall in the 1999 NBA draft. Unfortunately for the Frnchman, though, he will only be remembered for the moment when Vincent Lamar Carter stole the ball and jumped up and completely over his seven-foot-2 frame at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. A dunk so astonishing that even the French media nicknamed it “le dunk de la mort”—”the dunk of death. “