Smack, We Reminisce / Jan 22, 2014 / 10:30 am

Dominque Wilkins Says He Was A Better Dunker Than Michael Jordan

Dominique Wilkins Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Dominique Wilkins Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

The Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins, was on the BS Report with Bill Simmons to discuss his immortal 1988 Dunk Contest showdown with Michael Jordan. ‘Nique thought he had won, and even told Grantland’s Editor-In-Chief, that MJ thought so, too.

Here’s what ‘Nique told Simmons about that ’88 contest:

“[Michael Jordan] said, ‘Hey, you probably won. You know it, I know it. But hey, you’re in Chicago…what can I tell you?'”

Wilkins acknowledged that he probably won, but added, “It could have gone either way.”

In case we need to jog your memory, the 1988 Dunk Contest in Chicago featured MJ and ‘Nique in a rubber match after the Hawks high-flyer won in ’86 and MJ took the crown — as an injured Wilkins watched from the sidelines — in 1987.

In 1988, it came down to MJ’s final dunk, trailing ‘Nique 145-97, in his adopted town of Chicago. So the Bulls star needed a perfect 50 or a 49 to win. He decided to again dunk from the free throw line, just like he had the year before. ‘Nique, as he mentions in the interview with Simmons, cheered him on, too.

MJ was awarded a 50 and won the rubber match against his dunk rival.

Here’s MJ’s free throw line dunk from 1987, which is the more famous clip:

Personally, I prefer MJ’s free throw line dunk the year before his match-up with ‘Nique because it’s like he’s walking on air. But if you look at the video of the ’88 contest, Dominique does have a case for getting hosed by the results. Some of his dunks are just insane, and you can’t discount the Chicago crowd’s favoritism. Still, that 1988 Dunk Contest will live on in lore, especially if the Dunk Contests continue to flounder moving forward.

Who was a better dunker: MJ or ‘Nique?

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  • Chicagorilla

    Favoritism huh? The crowd didn’t judge the contest. Also the judges probably got tired of Nique doing the same exact dunks over and over each round. Have any of you at DIME actually watched the full 88′ dunk contest again? It was a great dunk contest for it’s time of course, but Clyde and Nique continued to do the same dunks repeatedly. I believe at one point Clyde copied whatever dunk MJ did before him.

  • Jose

    Where exactly does he says he was better dunker than MJ?

  • A real bball guy

    people need to stop, dominique did the EXACT same 4-5 dunks every
    contest, every year. tell him to float from free throw line or baseline
    how about glide across the paint to other side of basket to mention a
    few. enough of this already. vince carter was better than nique

  • SweetdickWilly

    Dominque was better if you’re talking about two foot jumping and windmills. Jordan was better and second only to Vince Carter when it comes to overall dunking.