HOUSTON, Feb. 18 --
What does it take to be the only guy holding up a 9?
Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images
The Glide likes it smooth.
For Elvin Hayes, it is about the "originality that takes place in the mind of the player".
And to impress Moses Malone, you must get it right the first time.
So how on earth do you judge a dunk contest? Let's ask tonight's judges who awarded Nate Robinson an epic tiebreak victory over Andre Iguodala.
The 5-9 guard needed multiple attempts for his final dunk, a through-the-legs alley-oop off the backboard. When he eventually hammered it home, he received three 10s, one nine and one eight.
"When a guy tries 15 times and misses I don't think he deserves a 10," said Moses Malone. "He deserved an eight. I liked his final dunk but he missed too many to make it. When a guy misses 15 dunks that is not pretty."
Elvin Hayes awarded 10 points -- but he didn't feel too good about it.
"I thought that the smaller guy after really trying 15 times or so he should not had any leg. But if you have a guy who is like 5-9 and he still got the ability to jump and get up there and dunk the ball that is just something you would not expect."
Still, Hayes felt that the wrong guy won.
"I think Andre's (last dunk) was much more difficult and had a lot of power and energy in it. I think Nate just changed up after he found what he could get into the hole. I just feel Andre won but it is all in the tally of the points."
Clyde Drexler, who gave both men a nine, praised Robinson for his perseverance.
"He never stopped," said the Glide. "The average guy would have been too tired to continue."
So what are his criteria?
"A little bit of power, finesse, creativity and how smooth the dunk is.
"Creativity, the ability to really leap and to throw it down with real power, that is what I look forward too."
He admitted Robinson had the little man's bonus since the "NBA is a land of the giants".
”Judges can't be swayed but most of the crowd roots for the underdog and Nate Robinson proved that he was a worthy underdog tonight.”
Drexler also offered some insight on the four 10s he handed out.
"Phenomenal timing and great timing on the dunk. He knew exactly where the ball was and the creativity was special. That's a ten in my book."
Iguodala from behind the basket
"Great creation, great creativity with a lot of power. That was special and I have never seen it before. Creativity was huge on that one."
"It was just the degree of difficulty. It was a hard dunk, he had a lot of hang time but still threw it down and make it look easy."
Robinson over Webb
"That was awesome. He jumped over Spud with Spud in his jersey so it was creative and brought back a sense of the nostalgic.
Hayes agreed that Iguodala's behind the basket slam was "among the greatest he has ever seen."
Finally, common ground for the jury.