NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest History

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This season will be the 33rd NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest. The first was held in Denver, Colorado, on Jan. 28, 1984. Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns ultimately defeated Julius “Dr. J” Erving of the 76ers in the final round. In the beginning, the contest was held with eight competitors and five judges. Each player had three chances to dunk with only 24 seconds to make their shot. Each dunk was judged on a scale of one to 10. Only the four highest-scoring players moved on to the semifinals and, after three more dunks, the last two highest-scoring players faced off in the finals. After the final three dunks, the player who scored the highest out of a total 150 points was the winner.

This year, four players will get three chances to complete each of their two dunks. The five judges will score each dunk on a scale of six to 10, with the two highest-scoring players moving on to the final round. These two players will again have three chances to complete each of their two dunks and, at the end of the round, the highest-scoring player will be the champion.

In the past 30 years of All-Star Slam Dunk Contest history, fans and players have seen some of the most epic moments in the history of the NBA. In 2011, we saw Blake Griffin jump over the hood of a car to complete his dunk as a choir behind him sang R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Griffin went on to win the competition. Although this was a feat, it doesn’t compare to 5-foot-7-inch Nate Robinson’s three wins in 2006, 2009, and 2010, making him the winningest All-Star Slam Dunk Contest participant. In 2009, he dunked over 6-foot-11-inch Dwight Howard, who had returned to defend his title from the previous year. Robinson was representing the Knicks with each of those wins, who are now tied with the Hawks for most wins at four each.

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Top Dunkers

Last year’s champion, Glenn Robinson III, was the second Pacers champion in the history of the contest. His winning dunk earned him 50 points after he leaped over the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George, Indiana Pacers Kayla Noel, and Pacers mascot Boomer to defeat Derrick Jones Jr. of the Phoenix Suns.

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This year’s participants include Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Larry Nance Jr. (Cavs), Dennis Smith Jr. (Mavericks), and Donovan Mitchell (Jazz).

Oladipo is ranked 13th in the NBA in scoring with a career-high 23.9 points per game. He previously made an appearance in the slam dunk contest in 2015 but fell short to Zach Lavine. Oladipo was voted fan-favorite Dunk of the Year for the 2016-17 season and will become the second consecutive champion from the Pacers if he wins this year’s contest.

Nance Jr. is the son of the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest’s original winner, Larry Nance. Representing the Cavaliers, he is posting career highs in scoring with 8.8 points per game.

Smith Jr. is a rookie in his first year with the Mavericks. With 14.8 points per game, he ranks fifth of all the rookies this season. In addition to the Slam Dunk Contest, fans can find Smith Jr. competing for the U.S. Team in Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars during the NBA All-Star weekend beginning Feb. 16, 2018.

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Donovan Mitchell is also a rookie who will be joining the competition last minute after Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic was forced to withdraw due to injury. He’s leading all NBA rookies this season in scoring, with 19.7 points per game and will earn the Jazz their second win since 2012 if he comes in first.

Be a Part of the Action

The annual competition takes place each NBA All-Star weekend, with this year’s event to be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.17, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (it’s scheduled to air on TNT). Make sure you’re ready to cheer your favorite player on for the contest and the second half of the season by stopping by Fanatics today.

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The 30,000 Club: Dirk Nowitzki

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Dirk Nowitzki Joins the 30,000-Point Club

It’s a feat so rare, only five NBA players had achieved it before March 7, 2017. That’s when Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who entered the game against the Lakers 20 points shy of the mark, clinched the milestone of scoring 30,000 career points in the second quarter in front of a raucous home crowd.

He joins NBA legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) on this exclusive list of those who have scored beyond the 30K mark.

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German-born Nowitzki was drafted ninth overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and was traded almost immediately to the Dallas Mavericks, where he has done nothing more than become a 13-time All-Star, a league MVP, and the 2010-2011 Finals MVP, when he helped the Mavs bring home their sole national championship. Oh, and he’s also the sixth NBA player ever to notch 30,000 career points, and he’s the first player who was born outside of the United States to do so.

Throughout his stellar career, he’s topped well over 1,000 points on multiple occasions. He even peaked at over 2,000 points in a few seasons. Reliable and steady, though he’s nearing the end of his career, he’ll always be remembered as one of the greats.

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Where do the other superstars of the game line up behind Nowitzki, and when will they hope to pass the 30,000-point milestone themselves?

LeBron James is sitting pretty at 28,316 points, and at 27.1 career points per game, can hope to join those six players in a little over half a season (assuming no playoffs, maintaining career average production, and he plays in all games). He’s currently playing in his 14th NBA season.

Russell Westbrook, who is in his ninth season as part of the Oklahoma City Thunder, can hope to pass the mark in a little over eight seasons. He currently has 14,650 points, so he’s almost halfway there.

Steph Curry, who has played for the Golden State Warriors every year for seven-plus seasons, can reach 30,000 points in a little over nine seasons. His current career total is 12,633 points.

Kevin Durant, who currently has 19,060 career points, can reach the milestone in a little over four and a half seasons. He currently plays for Golden State but spent most of the first part of his career in Oklahoma City.

James Harden, sitting at 13,117 career points, can notch 30K in a little over nine more seasons. Harden originally also played for the Thunder but has spent the last five seasons with the Houston Rockets.

Dwyane Wade is at 21,223 career points and can reach 30,000 if he continues at the same pace for a little more than four and a quarter additional seasons. Wade was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003 and played there up until the 2016-17 season when he move to the Chicago Bulls.

Moments after he hit his 30K point, we ran this video in-arena for Dirk! #Dirks30K

A post shared by Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) on

While it remains to be seen how much longer the 38-year-old Nowitzki will play in the NBA, his place in professional basketball history was likely sealed before he hit the 30,000-point milestone. If you’re a Mavs fan and want to show your support of Dirk Nowitzki, head over to Fanatics.com.

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The Evolution of the Dallas Mavericks Logo

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Maybe known more now for their billionaire-owner and “Shark Tank” celebrity, Mark Cuban, than their on-the-court heroics, the Dallas Mavericks play basketball in the Western Conference’s Southwest Division. Added to the league as an expansion team in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks have accomplished much in their relatively short tenure as a league franchise.

They could have gone by a different name, though, as Dallas-Fort Worth radio station WBAP-AM asked for franchise name suggestions from their listeners. We could be talking about the “Armadillos,” “Snail Darters,” or even the “Wranglers.” The final name, “Mavericks,” caused some consternation with the University of Texas-Arlington, as their basketball team was known as the “Movin’ Mavs.” In fact, “Mavs” was banned from use during team co-founder Norm Sonju’s tenure.

As the team gets closer and closer to its 40th season in the NBA, let’s look back on the logos used to galvanize the Mavericks’ fanbase and send out a rally cry to fans across the nation, and even, the world.

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It would be fair to describe the Mavericks’ initial performances as vacillating between famine and feast. Their first three seasons saw the team ship out losing records, but they ultimately advanced to the playoffs in six out of the first 10 seasons.

After delivering losing records for the next 10 seasons (1990-91 through 1999-2000), new ownership would spur the team toward playoff appearances in 15 of the next 16 seasons. This also included two trips to the NBA Finals and one victory, during the 2010-11 season.

It also helps that over this time period the Mavericks have been able to rely on power forward and center Dirk Nowitzki. The 13-time All-Star and 2006-07 league MVP was also the NBA Finals MVP in 2011.

Branded Steer

In almost 40 years, the Dallas Mavericks have only changed their logo three times. Here are the different logo designs they’ve used as the face of their franchise.

1980–1993: The team’s first logo, which underwent 77 revisions before it was approved by the Mavericks ownership, has a green and blue color scheme said to convey “North Texas countryside” feelings. There is a green basketball behind a large “M” wearing a cowboy hat. The city and team name are in blue font with a green outline.

1994–2001: The team loved its first logo so much, they only make minor alterations in the next iteration. Utilizing a new font, they remove the green border around the city and team name.

2002–2017: After purchasing the majority ownership in the Mavericks for about $280 million, Cuban helps to rebrand the team. They change colors – goodbye, green! – to silver, black, and blue. There is a horse in the center circle, where a blue basketball is located. Both the city and team name are still featured in the logo.

Unbridled Passion

The Dallas Mavericks continue to give their home crowd plenty to cheer about during the NBA season. With engaged ownership, an exciting roster, and a memorable gameday experience, who wouldn’t want to be a Mavericks fan? Gear up with the best officially licensed NBA and Dallas Mavericks merchandise and apparel at Fanatics.com.

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