With all due respect to the Human Highlight Film, Dominique Wilkins, my pick for the best windmill dunker ever goes to the best dunker ever, Mr Vincent Lamar Carter. At the young age of 39 (just three months away from the big 4-0), Carter showed in practice he can still throw down a windmill better than probably any of his current teammates, not named D.J. Stephens.
So in honor of Vince showing Vinsanity is still alive in 2016 (he also threw down a putback dunk earlier this week), I’m going to share my favorite windmill dunks by Carter over the last two decades.
1995 MCDONALDS DUNK CONTEST
I always wanted a Vince vs Ronnie Fields or Lester Earl dunk contest but I guess we have to settle for Vince vs Paul Pierce. The windmill happens at the 11:40 mark.
Read More about the contest.
1998: SLOW MOTION WINDMILL VS ASU
Vince had so much hangtime on this windmill, the real-time replay actually looks like it’s in slow motion. Before this dunk, it was very rare to see a windmill in a college basketball game.
1999: OFF 1 LEG WINDMILL VS THE BULLS
This dunk didn’t get much love during his rookie season, especially compared to his poster(s) on Mt Mutomobo or his reverse against the Pacers, but this is the first time I ever saw a player in the NBA throw down a windmill off 1 leg.
1999: VINSANITY INVADES RUCKER PARK
During the summer of 1999, Vince became a Rucker Park legend when he shut the Gauchos Gym down with this windmill alley-oop.
Read More about this day.
2000: THE RAY ALLEN REVENGE WINDMILL
If you are wondering why there was so much anger in this windmill, it’s because a few days earlier, the USA team gave the final roster spot to Ray Allen. Vince Carter wanted to show the world he should have got that spot so he went off on Ray and the Bucks for 47 points on 20 of 32 shooting and threw down one of the best windmill dunks ever. Vince eventually ended up on the 2000 USA team, which led to the greatest dunk ever.
2000: 360 WINDMILL IN THE NBA DUNK CONTEST
16 years later and it’s still the most memorable dunk contest. Nique getting robbed in Chicago in 88 was great and so was the Lavine and Gordon duel but nothing tops the shocked expressions and silence that followed Carter’s dunks in 2000. The look on Shaq’s face after Vince’s 360 windmill is all you need to see to know why it’s on this list.
2000: WINDMILL OOP VS THE TEAM USA SELECT TEAM
Before Vince ended the career of Fred Weis, this windmill oop from Ray Allen (of all people) during the Team USA vs USA Select team (with Jason Richardson) was my favorite dunk of the summer.
2001: 1st WINDMILL ALLEY-OOP IN NBA HISTORY?
I don’t know for a fact that this windmill alley-oop against the 76ers was the first windmill alley-oop in a NBA game but it is a fact that it was the first NASTY windmill oop in NBA history.
This dunk was also featured in an issue of Slam Magazine as the Slamadamonth with this awesome caption by Russ Bengston.
Blah blah blah blah Vinsanity blah blah blah Nike Shox blah blah. Blah blah alley-oop windmill blah blah blah third quarter blah blah #@!#!!! blah blah Rucker Park. Blah blah blah blah Freddy Weis blah blah blah blah blah blah, na’ mean? Read More.
2001: WINDMILL OFF THE GLASS DURING HIS CHARITY GAME
When I used to run Gotvinsanity.com (best Vince Carter site from 1998-2001), I gave out tickets to Carter’s annual charity game. This was the best dunk from the 2001 game. Up to that point, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody throw down a windmill off the backboard the way he did.
2004: THIS IS FOR YOU LEBRON
With less than a minute left in a victory over rookie LeBron James and his Cavs, Vince cap the game off with a windmill dunk. This #1 play of the day on Sportscenter was also Vince’s last memorable windmill as a Raptor.
2005: THIS IS FOR YOU LEBRON PT2
Some things change and some things never do. It took a while for me to get used to seeing Vince in a Nets uni but seeing him throw down windmill dunks always made me smile. Here he is in late 2005, throwing down a windmill after a steal during an exciting duel against LeBron James. The Nets got the W and Vince got a congrats from Jay-Z after the game.
2009: UNC ALUMNI GAME
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think a 32-year old Vince Carter was still able to throw down dunks he was doing in this Tarheel alumni game, especially this off the backboard oop reminiscent of the one he did at his charity game 8 years earlier.
2010: BIG TIGGER CLASSIC
Not only did Vince prove me wrong in 2009, he proved me wrong a year later when he threw down a self alley-oop off the glass in the Big Tigger Celeb Classic. This is probably his most underrated or unappreciated or unknown or unwhatever dunk. He throws the lob to himself at the 3-point line and catches it below his hip!
2014 DUNK ON RUDY GOBERT***
Yes I know that wasn’t a windmill dunk but I really couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show a 37 year old Vince posterizing a 7’2 22 year old French basketball player, 14 years after he posterized 7’2 23 year old Fred Weis of France.
2016: WINDMILL IN PRACTICE
So here we are 2 years after his dunk on Gobert, 16 years after his NBA dunk contest and almost 20 years after he won the McDonalds dunk contest and Carter is still throwing down windmill dunks.
And since Vince still has another season or two…or three, I have a feeling I’m going to be updating this list at least one more time.
UPDATE (OCTOBER OF 2017)
Since the release of this post in October of 2016, Vince has turned 40, threw down some impressive windmill dunks during the season and signed with Sacramento, where I expect to see him throw down some windmill dunks in front of teammates that weren’t even born when he entered the NBA.
The NBA also released a pretty great compilation video on his 40th birthday showcasing his top 40 windmill dunks.