Ben McLemore says he might try a 720 in the dunk contest | History of the 720
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We love Ben McLemore. We are glad he’s in the Dunk Contest, but take it from us, who have filmed over 40+ dunk contests in the past 4 years for the NBA, D-League, Sprite Showdown, High School and even some odd contests in the scariest little gyms with the world’s best dunkers, Ben can not do a 720 dunk.
The reason why I’m stating what should be the obvious is because Ben said he’s considering the dunk next week and a lot of media people are thinking it’s a possibility.
“I’m definitely a high flyer. I can get high. I just want to show my athleticism out there on the floor and bring a lot of excitement out there.”
Being both aerially dynamic and a high leaper, the current holy grail of the slam dunk, the 720, has come under consideration.
“I was thinking about that, nobody has put that up,” McLemore told CLNS Radio. “But we’ll see.”
Yes we will see.
THE HISTORY OF THE 720
Throughout the 80s and 90s, a 360 dunk was impressive enough to get you a high 40 or a 50 in a dunk contest even though most 360 dunks were actually closer to a 180 or 240 dunk. It was also the go to show off game dunk that was a step up from a reverse dunk -nowadays it’s been replaced by the windmill.
Then in the late 90s, Kobe and Vince Carter started throwing down 360 dunks in games on a regular basis so it was only a matter of time that somebody took it to another level and that player was a high school kid named named Jason Richardson who supposedly pulled off a 540 dunk at the 1999 Magic’s Roundball Classic.
There’s no known video proof of the future NBA dunk champions dunk but a year later, we thought we were finally going to see the dunk happen when Vince Carter entered the NBA dunk contest (thanks to Kenny Smith for convincing Vince to accept on television). But Vince wasn’t going to do a 540, he was supposedly going to try a 720…well, according to Tony Montana/Shaq.
After Vince threw down an unseen 36o windmill, Shaq told Reggie Theus that Vince told him he was going to do the impossible 720 dunk. He didn’t attempt it but he did give most audiences their first sighting of an elbow hang dunk or a between the legs off 2 feet.
6 years went by without any buzz about 540 and 720 sightings but then in 2006 at an And1 Game in Houston, TX, local streetballer Taurian Fontenette aka The Air Up There shocked the world by executing a 720 dunk in a game! TJ turned into an overnight sensation and was asked to perform the dunk on morning shows, ESPN shows and even in a television commercial. Although the initial And1 dunk gets the most attention, Air Up There, now known to many as Mr 720, performed the dunk in another game and that would be the last accepted 720 on a regulation rim that we have seen.
There’s been lots of 540 dunks posted online that have been called 720 dunks since that day and since YouTube exploded and gave birth to the “YouTube dunkers” but none of them are as close to a 720 as Air Up There’s dunks.
So here we are in 2014 and as much as I would love to see Ben McLemore do this dunk, I just don’t believe he’s going to be able to pull off a dunk that tons of amazing dunkers since 2006 have not been able to do. I’ll be really happy if he just does a 540…that’s closer to a 360…or a 360 that’s called a 540. You get the point.