Dominique Wilkins is one of the greatest athletes the game of basketball has ever seen. His dunking prowess is legendary, as 'The Human Highlight Film' got his nickname by pulling off moves very few had seen before in the NBA. His iconic dunk contest wars with Michael Jordan are a must-watch for any NBA fan.
Wilkins was snubbed from the NBA's 50th Anniversary List in 1996, but it was all made right when he was added to the 75th Anniversary List. He spoke about all this and more in a recent interview with Spun.com. In the same interview, he also shared thoughts on how the NBA can improve the modern dunk contest.
However, the biggest talking point Wilkins left us with is his Mount Rushmore of all-time dunkers. It was a list that included multiple eras of NBA basketball and featured the players that gave some of the greatest dunk contest performances of all time:
[Excluding myself] of course Michael, Dr. J... who is the grandaddy of us all. I’ve always said that. Vince Carter and… aw man, I think other guys like… look at LaVine and Gordon. You’ve gotta have them guys up at the top there as well. But, I’m gonna tell you another guy that nobody ever talks about: David Thompson. People don’t know how good he was. One of the greatest athletes I’ve ever seen in my life.
Wilkins has a lot of respect for Jordan, considering their battles in the dunk contest. The appreciation he showed to the new generation in Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon was great to see. Considering the state of the dunk contest in 2022, LaVine and Gordon may have had the last legendary dunk contest.
Wilkins shouting out Vince Carter and Julius Erving is completely reasonable. Dr. J is an innovator himself and could glide through the air, while Carter was the most explosive dunker in the NBA in the early 2000s, which is a massive feat considering how the league looked then.