Remembering when the greatest dunk ever happened but nobody saw it until the next day | Vince Carter over Fred Weis
On September 25th of 2000, the greatest dunk of all-time happened, but most of the world didn’t know it happened until the next morning. Here’s the story of the first viral basketball clip.
Everybody knows about the infamous Lipton dunk over 7’2 Fred Weis now but when it happened nobody in the United States did. That’s hard to believe considering we live in a social media world now where a dunk can go viral and accumulate millions of views, likes, shares and retweets just minutes after it happens. But this was long before Vine, Instagram, Twitter, even YouTube and before the Olympics were shown on a bunch of channels. So NBC, who had exclusive rights to Olympic footage, had to pick and choose what was being shown and what would have to be shown the next day as a delayed aired event.
The Team USA game vs France would not air until the next afternoon but that morning, during the local Houston NBC news, they decided to show the dunk and I was lucky enough to have a VCR ready to record (back then having an empty vhs tape in the VCR ready for highlights was a must).
I taped the local news segment and posted it in on a website I was running called Gotvinsanity and within an hour, HoopsTV.com (the coolest basketball site at that time) posted a link to my site and the next thing I knew the footage was on p2p networks (Kazaa anybody?) and going viral. TV producer/journalist Greg Tanner, the pioneer running the awesome Streetball.co.uk back then, told me he put my clip on Streetball and it crashed the site after tens of thousands of people tried to download it.
Next thing I know the IOC (Olympic Committee) was sending me a cease and desist letter basically saying we have a big ass deal worth millions with NBC and if you don’t take this clip off your tiny ass site we will sue your ass.
I was allowed to keep the images up on the site as long as I credited the IOC (above) but the video had to go.
Within a year, the footage, including newer and better angles, was everywhere and by the time YouTube came around, it was a pointless battle for them to try to remove the footage.
Here we are on the 16th anniversary of the dunk and I can freely post as many videos of this dunk as I want and not have to worry about a phone call from the IOC and I also don’t have to worry about my wife accidentally taping over my Michael Jordan games with the latest episodes of Party of Five (although I still have a crush on Jennifer Love Hewitt). As a bonus, I also had the honor of interviewing Gary Payton today and when I showed him the following image, he yelled “The Dunk” and said it was “the best dunk he’s ever seen.”