Flashback: Air Up There’s first dunk contest back in 2009
Here’s a story about my favorite dunk contest performance of all-time. It took place back in 2009 in Dallas, TX. It was the final stop of the first Sprite Dunk Contest tour and dunkers from all over the country were driving and flying in for a final shot at going to All-Star weekend to compete in front of LeBron James for $10k. Most of the dunkers knew of each other and most felt they could beat the others, but then Air Up There showed up and everybody started asking how much money does the runner-up get. If it wasn’t bad enough that the event took place outside during the middle of the afternoon with the temperature peaking around 113, the world’s best dunker, known for doing the impossible to do 720 and not doing dunk contests, had to show up.
Air Up There spent most of the time before the event under a shaded tent, but with about 15 minutes before the contest, he decided to do a few “warm-up dunks.” You could say he shut down the event before the event even started. Then once the event did start, competitors started dropping one-by-one and in the finals, the competition literally almost dropped out as Sir Issac passed out from the Heat. The event was put on hold for about 20 minutes as medics took care of Issac, but the crowd was willing to bake a few shades darker just to see Air Up There’s final dunk. Although he did miss a 720 attempt, he didn’t disappoint.
He didn’t disappoint LeBron and Drake either when he went to All-Star weekend and won the grand prize.
Here’s some more footage from the memorable event.