At its best, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest showcases the power and grace that make fans jones for basketball. At its worst, the NBA Slam Dunk Contest does something else entirely. That something else may or may not involve layups.
Perhaps some of the cringe-worthy moments in the history of the contest are the result of participants putting too much thought into their dunks and creating moves too complex to pull off. Or maybe the also-flew contestants found themselves stranded in the spotlight without enough of a plan. Regardless of the explanation, Darrell Armstrong still took a layup in 1996 and Larry Hughes failed to flush a single dunk in 2000.
Then, of course, there was Chris Andersen. In 2005, the Birdman needed nine attempts for his first dunk and six attempts for his second, causing the TNT announcers to crack up laughing.
"Hey, how many mulligans does he get?" Charles Barkley asked.
In all their awkwardness, here are some of the biggest fails in the history of the dunk contest.