Even though 1986 Magic’s Midsummer Nights Charity Game proved to be a spectacle in itself, the halftime slam dunk fest proved to be something even more memorable for the lucky L.A. basketball fans.
And not just for them – Kenny Smith claims that this particular slam dunk contest was even better than the actual slam dunk contest at the 1986 NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas, Texas.
The host Magic Johnson served as an announcer, cheering up the players and the crowd all night long.
“Our charity game was more like a free fall. So, Spud, you can do any dunks, and how many dunks you wanna do. And then ‘Dominique, you can do…’. And they put the crowd on their feet.”
1985 NBA Slam Dunk champion Dominique Wilkins opened the competition with the perfect double-pump reverse slam. His Atlanta Hawks teammate ‘Spud’ Webb followed with a slam dunk off the complete 360 turn in the air.
Fans also enjoyed the acrobatic dunks of the hometown heroes, Lakers Michael Cooper and Byron Scott.
Seeing Spud’s hoops and dunks live, not on a T.V. screen, high above the Pauley Pavillion floor, made L.A. crowd go crazy that night! 6’7′ Nique’ did anything literally in his power to show and prove that he is the best dunker out there, with just another perfect presentation of his patented windmill and 360 slam dunks.
At moments, it seemed as ‘Nique’ is at 110 percent, trying to prove that the victory in Dallas belonged to him. But again, six months after the contest in Webb’s hometown, each time ‘Nique’ would make the dunk, the one which would guarantee him the W in every other S.D. contest, 5’7″ rookie would explode for a more spectacular jam.
Knowing that this special occasion wasn’t really a contest but more a basketball jazz session, Magic called on ‘Nique’ to close down the curtain on the unforgettable halftime spectacle, and he did it with style, making a perfect 360.
Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is a BN contributor and the author of the book ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ which can be found here.