Did Michael Jordan Deserve To Win The 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest?

by TheDuder95

There’s no question that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. He completely revolutionized the game unlike any other player before or after him. He dominated consistently both on the court and off of it, paving the way for future generations of NBA stars.

While he won six NBA Championships during his long career, one of his most memorable feats came during the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest against fellow air-born legend Dominique Wilkins. It was during this contest that Jordan nailed his signature dunk from the free-throw line. Take a look at this video and relive the aciton.

This might be controversial, but doesn’t it feel like Dominique Wilkins got robbed?

Did Michael Jordan deserve to win?

Jordan’s iconic free-throw line dunk aside, Dominique had a handful of clearly revolutionary dunks during this matchup. From windmills to throwing the ball off the backboard for an earth shattering slam, Wilkins had a performance unlike any other.

While the matchup certainly deserved to be close from a scoring perspective, Wilkins biggest mistake seems to come during his last dunk. Admittedly, it seems like he basically just did a two-handed version of a dunk he had already done. That was a huge bummer for the player known as “The Human Highlight Reel.” Aside from that mistake, it’s entirely possible that he would have defeated MJ on his home turf.

It’s worth noting that Jordan also repeated a dunk during his last attempt. He had already done the free-throw line extended jam during the contest. To redo it falls into the same category of mistake as Dominique. While the dunk was certainly incredible, Jordan surely could have pulled something else out of his back pocket in that moment to truly win the crown.

Not only did MJ win this battle, but he clearly went on to have a much more distinguished career than Dominique Wilkins, who never even reached the Conference Finals despite some pretty remarkable personal achievements.

Hindsight is definitely 20-20 in this situation, but we think Wilkins got robbed.