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NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Schedule, format, participants, winners, how to watch

The Slam Dunk Contest is arguably the highlight of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, as the league's most gravity-defying athletes take flight and unleash their creativity in the air.

We've covered all you need to know about the Slam Dunk Contest, including event schedule, participants, scoring, past winners, and more.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2025 date 

The next NBA Slam Dunk Contest is expected to be held on Saturday, February 15, 2025.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2025 time

The Slam Dunk Contest typically starts between 9 PM and 10 PM ET on All-Star Saturday. It is the final event of All-Star Saturday, taking place after the Skills Challenge and Three-Point Contest. 

TV channel and how to watch the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

In the United States, the Slam Dunk Contest is available to watch on TNT.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest participants

The announcement of dunk contest participants typically happens around 1-2 weeks before the event itself.

In 2024, the participants were Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (Miami Heat), Mac McClung (Osceola Magic), and Jacob Toppin (New York Knicks). 

With five appearances each, Dominique Wilkins and Clyde Drexler have appeared in the dunk contest more than anyone in the event's history.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest format

The Dunk Contest itself sees each of the contestants attempt two dunks, which are scored out of 10 by a panel of judges. Each dunker has 90 seconds to pull off their attempted dunk, with a limit of three attempts. 

The top two scoring players move on to the final round. They attempt two more dunks and the player with the highest score from the judges is named the Dunk Contest champion.

Players go to great lengths to add some flourish to their dunk attempts. They can use props, such as Blake Griffin leaping over a car on his way to the basket in 2011. Players can also jump people, as Aaron Gordon did when he leapt over the 7-5 Tacko Fall in 2020.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest scoring

The Dunk Contest has five judges, who range from former NBA and WNBA players to celebrities. 

Each judge scores each dunk out of 10. The scores are combined to give the player’s total score, which can range anywhere from 0 to 50. The two scores are then combined and the highest-scoring players progress to the final.

The previous scores are wiped for the final, with the finalists attempting two more dunks, with their scores then combined. If the players are level then tie-breakers are used to decide the winner. That happened in a classic 2016 showdown, where Zach LaVine beat Aaron Gordon after two tie-breakers.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest winners

1984Larry NancePhoenix Suns
1985Dominique WilkinsAtlanta Hawks
1986Spud Webb Atlanta Hawks
1987Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1988Michael JordanChicago Bulls
1989Kenny WalkerNew York Knicks
1990Dominique WilkinsAtlanta Hawks
1991Dee BrownBoston Celtics
1992Cedric CeballosPhoenix Suns
1993Harold MinerMiami Heat
1994Isaiah RiderMinnesota Timberwolves
1995Harold MinerMiami Heat
1996Brent BarryLA Clippers
1997Kobe BryantLA Lakers
2000Vince CarterToronto Raptors
2001Desmond MasonSeattle SuperSonics
2002Jason RichardsonGolden State Warriors
2003Jason RichardsonGolden State Warriors
2004Fred JonesIndiana Pacers
2005Josh SmithAtlanta Hawks
2006Nate RobinsonNew York Knicks
2007Gerald GreenBoston Celtics
2008Dwight HowardOrlando Magic
2009Nate RobinsonNew York Knicks
2010Nate RobinsonNew York Knicks
2011Blake GriffinLA Clippers
2012Jeremy EvansUtah Jazz
2013Terrence RossToronto Raptors
2014John WallWashington Wizards
2015Zach LaVineMinnesota Timberwolves
2016Zach LaVineMinnesota Timberwolves
2017Glen Robinson IIIIndiana Pacers
2018Donovan MitchellUtah Jazz
2019Hamidou DialloOklahoma City Thunder
2020Derrick Jones Jr.Miami Heat
2021Anfernee SimonsPortland Trail Blazers
2022Obi ToppinNew York Knicks
2023Mac McClungPhiladelphia 76ers
2024Mac McClungOsceola Magic

NBA Slam Dunk Contest records

Multi-time winners

NameNumber of wins
Nate Robinson3
Harold Miner2
Michael Jordan2
Jason Richardson2
Dominique Wilkins2
Zach LaVine2
Mac McClung2

Most perfect 50-point dunks in a single contest

YearNamePerfect dunks
2016Zach LaVine5
2020Aaron Gordon5
2020Derrick Jones Jr.4
1986Spud Webb3
1988Michael Jordan3
2000Vince Carter3
2003Jason Richardson3
2005Josh Smith3
2016Aaron Gordon3
2023Mac McClung3

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