Before there was the KIA Dunk, there was the Elbow Dunk. In his first run of the final round of the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest, Blake Griffin nailed a monster jam that left the Clippers' rookie hanging from the rim from his elbow. Take a look.
That dunk immediately pulled up memories from 2000, when Vince Carter's unforgettable Dunk Contest performance include a bit of elbow action.
Carter's 360-degree dunk from the 2000 contest had remained his most memorable jam (Frederic Weis excepted), but the elbow dunk -- replicated by amateurs all over the world, and certainly painful -- remains a simple of Vince's ridiculous athleticism. (It's the fourth dunk in.)
How did Griffin remix it? He went glass, first of all, adding the element of reception that, frankly, Blake has never had a problem with. There was also another level of physical implausibility with Griffin's version, owing to the fact that, you know, Blake Griffin is a muscled power forward instead of a sinewy guard. The raw strength of Griffin hanging by a limb from the rim after a rocking jam? It's a spectacle all of its own. And probably Blake's third most memorable dunk of the night.
Just as Vince's elbow dunk inspired Grifffin, I have a feeling Saturday's efforts from Blake, JaVale McGee, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka will inspire future dunkers to reach new heights. What a wonderful night for the dunk contest.
Screenshot via @jose3030.