In any other year, Minnesota's Gerald Green would have easily walked away with his second straight dunking crown, but he was upstaged by the amazingly athletic Howard, whose performance has to rank up there with anything Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter or even tiny Spud Webb ever did above the basket.
Inside Hoops on Green's first dunk, "The Birthday Cake":
Assistant Rashad McCants is holding a cupcake with a candle in it, and using a ladder climbs up, puts the cupcake on the back of the rim, on the support that connects it to the backboard. McCants then lit the candle. Green is apparently going to dunk, while blowing the candle out! This seems both dangerous and impossible. Yet - bam! - he got it! Insane! He caught the lob, put it down with two hands dunking on the left side of the rim and successfully blew the candle out!
On Green's second dunk:
A ladder is in the paint again, with MCants climbing it and sitting on the top. The ladder is positioned slightly to the right of the rim. McCants is holding the ball in one arm, which is extended so he’s holding the ball in front o the rim. Just as Green launched himself up, Mccants flipped it up so Green could grab it with two hands, windmill it and slam it down.
On Green's first dunk in the second round:
Green is up first, starting from the left elbow in three-point range, McCants, standing behind the basket on the right, is lobbing it over the top of the backboard. After some imperfect passes, and then one miss, Green came in, caught with two hands, windmilled it through his legs and slammed it down with one hand.
On Green's final dunk:
Green, trying to be creative, took his shoes off, autographed them, put them on the judges table, and did a through-the-legs windmill. It was a slightly lesser version of his earlier dunk, minus the shoes.
Odenized has video of the Birthday Cake dunk.
Click here for a photo gallery from the dunk competition
I kind of figured he had something like that planned. We were in the back working on dunks. And I saw him doing one dunk over and over. And I was like okay, he's got something up his sleeve. I think it was very impressive. At first I thought he was going to take the cupcake, eat it and then dunk it. I thought he would have won with that.
Marty Burns/SI.com gives Green an A- for last night's dunks.
Defending champ failed in his bid to become first repeat winner since Jason Richardson. But his "cupcake" dunk, in which he blew out the candle on a cupcake placed on the back of the rim, was sweet.
Russ Bengtson/SLAM Online on the "Birthday Cake" dunk:
This is following NBA regulations but raising the basket to 12 feet isn’t? I’m sorry, but this is stupid. Off the bounce, too. He does it—blowing out the candle—but everyone just looks confused. I mean, so what? Dwight Howard could have gone up and ate it. Gerald gets a 46, and I’m fine with that, although Chuck thinks he should have gotten a 50. WRONG.