Dunk History: Vince Carter defies gravity, belief in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest (Ball Don’t Lie)

As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy turns back the clock to the turn of the century to bask in the warming glow of Vince Carter's unforgettable performance in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. I was on a date, and I missed it. For three hours, I was completely unaware of what was going down in Oakland Arena during the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. It was Vince Carter’s night, and we were all spectators, with me arriving fashionably late to the party. Carter was then a 23-year-old in his second year with the Toronto Raptors. He would average 25.7 points per game that season, helping the franchise to its first-ever postseason appearance and earning a spot on the All-NBA Third Team. That weekend in Oakland marked the first of his eight All-Star appearances. I’m a hockey guy, but growing up in New York in the 1980s and early 1990s, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the New York Knicks. Oak and Mase ( RIP ) were my guys, but as they got older, the rivalry with the Miami Heat died down and the franchise started its slow decent, my interest in the game was left mostly to the Dunk Contest. I’d watch a random Knicks game if there was nothing else on that night, but I would definitely tune in to the Dunk Contest every year. Amid criticism due to the lack of star power year after year, we went two years without a Dunk Contest before Carter breathed new life into the event. *** The date went well. Not too well, though, considering I was back in my buddy Ryan’s dorm room not too late into the night to watch the replay. He told me I had to sit down to watch. It didn’t take long for me to get out of my seat. The build-up to Carter’s first dunk was so nonchalant that you got the impression he'd practiced it in the gym many, many times. Except, as he would tell TNT’s Cheryl Miller afterward, he hadn’t. He was in full spin when he cocked his right arm out wide and windmilled it, cradling the ball and throwing it down ferociously as the crowd erupted. Even Shaq, giant camcorder and all, was impressed:

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 31, 2015 at 11:14 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 29, 2015 at 12:26 am

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 28, 2015 at 11:30 pm

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - NBA - New York Knicks News on August 28, 2015 at 11:30 pm

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