A slam dunk is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both hands over the rim. This is considered a normal field goal attempt; if successful it is worth two points. The term “slam dunk” was first coined by basketball announcer, Chick Hearn. Prior to his first coining of the phrase, the action was known as a “dunk shot.”
A slam dunk is one of the most crowd-pleasing plays. Fans of the Orlando Magic get excited when their favorite players dunk the ball through the hoop. Dunking the ball is often viewed as an exclamation point for a dominant performance by a team or single player. Most often, dunk shots are performed for their entertainment value, but a successful shot can be rewarding. For players, this type of field goal is one of the highest percentage shots one can attempt. But, there are certain rules pertaining to this type of shot. The “Official Rules of the National Basketball Association” state: “If the reception of the pass and the subsequent “slam dunk” is immediately adjacent to the basket ring, this type of action shall be deemed legal if :00.1 or more remains in a period.” Players who do not adhere to this rule may be penalized for offensive interference.
For exciting, nonstop NBA action, the Amway Center is one of the best places to go in Orlando. The Orlando Magic play every home game at the Center against opponents from across the NBA. Some of their opponents include, The Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and other popular teams across the county. It’s one of the most popular places to go in Orlando for basketball fans of all ages.
The basic one- or two-hand, forward-facing dunk is the most common dunk witnessed by basketball fans, but there a few alternative styles of the slam dunk. It takes a higher degree of athleticism to successfully perform these dunk shots. Players often employ these dunk styles based on game setting, crowd enthusiasm and team moral. Other times alternative dunk shots are used to boost scores during dunk contests. Alternatives to the slam dunk include the double pump, tomahawk, windmill, baseline dunk, under-the-leg and the elbow hang. Dunks are usually initiated from the free throw line, but players can also choose to a take-off point that is further away. Dunk shots completed with an assist are often called an “alley-oop.”
The NBA has hosted the Slam Dunk Contest every year since 1984. Larry Nance of the Phoenix Suns won the very first dunk contest. Today’s dunk competition is usually held during the NBA All-Star Weekend. Players from across the NBA gather to compete in this prestigious competition. In order to wow fans and competition judges, players perform different styles of dunking. Points are awarded for demonstrations of athleticism, initiation, flair and accuracy. The only Orlando Magic player to ever win the Slam Dunk Contest is Dwight Howard. Howard won the competition in 2008. Other notable winners of the slam dunk competition include, Michael Jordan (1987, 1988), Kobe Bryant (1997), Nate Robinson (2006, 2009, 2010) and most recently, Terrence Ross in 2013.