The year was 2000. The NBA had survived a lockout and America had survived Y2K. With Jordan having just retired for the second time basketball fans needed something to believe in. It was easy to think the air had been taken out of the game with the ’99 All-Star Weekend being cancelled and the Slam Dunk Contest being replaced in ’98 by *sigh* 2-Ball. Who would save pro basketball’s best weekend?
It’d take another Tar Heel. The reigning Rookie of the Year Vince Carter erupted in the 2000 Dunk Contest to the point where no one remembers who finished second (Steve Francis) that year. With some help from his cousin/teammate Tracy McGrady VC shocked the world pulling out a plethora of dunks never seen by man. His 360? air assault was all the better matched by his AND 1 Tai Chi. As he spun so did the shoe, highlighting the finesse/power yin and yang that was Carter. A landmark event and popularity peak for both Carter and AND 1.
Who: Vince Carter
Shoes: AND 1 Tai Chi White/Red
Event: 2000 All-Star Weekend NBA Slam Dunk Contest