NBA — 14 February 2013
Brent Barry: The Most Underrated Dunk Contest Winner Ever

Long before he took his monotone talents to NBA TV, Brent Barry had some serious hops in his day. I’m not talking about the time he spent in San Antonio. I’m going back even before that. Back when he did his thing with the Clippers. Brent wasn’t talked about a great deal because he wasn’t that spectacular of a player, but he sure was an underrated dunker.

Brent participated in the 1996 dunk contest in San Antonio and he put on quite a show. He competed against the likes of Michael Finley, Greg Minor, Jerry Stackhouse, Doug Christie and Darrell Armstrong. All of those guys were certified leapers back then. Brent took home the trophy from that weekend and he did so in rather impressive fashion. In this dunk contest, he took off from the free throw line not once, but twice. And they were both legit free throw line dunks. They weren’t the type where guys clearly plant their foot after the line. His left foot squarely made contact with the line both times and on one of the attempts, his toe was touching the line when he took off.

Other guys who have done legit free throw line dunks in the dunk contest include MJ and Dr. J, and each guy made contact with the line. Brent didn’t have much style because he ran with the ball in his hands, rather than dribbling it up to the line like how Mike did, but he sure had substance. And Brent did it with his warm up jacket on too.

Perhaps it’s because he’s white, but Brent Barry is by far the most slept on dunk contest winner ever. We remember MJ’s and Dr. J’s free throw line dunks because they still show clips of them. However, unless you watched that dunk contest back in February of ’96, you probably have never seen Brent’s dunks because they never show them. Good think I taped that dunk contest so that I have it on VHS somewhere. I’ll even take it a step further and say that Brent had one the best dunk contest performances ever because he was able to pull it off twice.

So, as we get ready to see James White and Gerald Green entertain us on Saturday night, let’s not forget where we came from. Check out Brent’s performance from back in 1996.

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Kevin Burke

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