6 Spectacularly Sad NBA Slam Dunk Contest Moments - Rolling Stone
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6 Spectacularly Sad NBA Slam Dunk Contest Moments

From Blake Griffin’s sponsored slam to Birdman’s failed attempts at flight, these are the dunks that leave us depressed

Chris Andersen; NBA; Slam; Dunk; Contest; Slam Dunk ContestChris Andersen; NBA; Slam; Dunk; Contest; Slam Dunk Contest

DENVER - FEBRUARY 19: Chris Andersen #12 of the New Orleans Hornets attempts a dunk in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest during 2005 NBA All-Star Weekend at Pepsi Center on February 19, 2005 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty

It's like the man Leo Tolstoy said: "All good dunk contest dunks are alike; each dunk contest fail is atrocious in its own way."

For every Vince Carter, every Jason Richardson, every Zach LaVine who seamlessly balances on the knife-edge between explosive athleticism and supple grace, who gives you the queasy, butterfly feeling of seeing a human touch the face of God and slam a basketball through it, there are dozens of J.R. Smiths, Richard Jeffersons and Gerald Wallaces – ho-hum but ultimately forgettable participants.

But then there are those rarest of birds, the massive, cringe-inducing, abominable dunk contest flameouts that yes, are each atrocious in their own way. And as we prepare for Saturday night's Verizon Slam Dunk extravaganza – sure to be the highest anyone not named Drake gets during NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto – here's a look back at 6 of the most spectacular failures in dunk contest history.

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