Imagine the dunk that made this kid make this face.
Dunk contests have been going on for decades, and frankly, it has gotten a bit stale in recent years. They used to represent everything that was exciting about the game of basketball – the best athletes in the game performing remarkably creative high-flying acts that most of us couldn’t even imagine. That’s what Isaiah “J.R.” Rider did in the ’94 dunk contest when he shocked the basketball world with the first-ever, between-the-legs dunk, dubbed the East Bay Funk dunk. And that’s what we celebrated at the inaugural #EastbayFunkDunk Contest – the best dunkers in the world, showing off the most outrageous hang time, athletic creativity, and originality on the court.
The head-to-head, 3-round competition showcased a unique format unlike any dunk contest before it. The first round consisted of a 10-minute session, during which the two teams went back and forth to see which team would win the judges’ vote and gain an edge going into round 2.
Team 1, led by world-renowned dunker Kenny Dobbs, took Round 1 in a landslide.
Round 2 took us through a familiar basketball game of P.I.G., but instead spelled D.U.N.K. I’m sure you’ve all played a game of P.I.G. where your opponent is pulling out these ridiculous shots that you have no chance of replicating. Well, this was taken to a whole other level as the dunkers were forced to step out of their comfort zones and match the dunks performed by members of the other team. Keep in mind that these guys are some of the most athletic high flyers in the world, and it takes a lot to make them look clumsy, but that’s exactly what this round did. I mean, how are you supposed to mimic ‘JusFly’ when he does a cartwheel-style dunk?
The shortest dunker in the world, the normally high-flying Mr. Porter, attempted the same dunk, but it did not go well. Thanks to some ridiculously acrobatic and creative dunks, Team 2 was able to take Round 2.
So it came down to the third round. And for that we have to go back to J.R. Rider, one of our celebrity judges. In the third round, contestants would have to perform their best variation of the dunk that Rider made famous over 20 years ago, the Eastbay Funk Dunk. Watch all the highlights below to see who did it best and took home the $10,000 cash prize.
Remember, you can get in on the action, too. We want to see your version of the Eastbay Funk Dunk, so show us what you’ve got (on an 8’ hoop or taller), share it on Twitter or Instagram, tag Eastbay, and use #EastbayFunkDunk. The winner will win basketball shoes for his or her entire team. More details.
By Ben Schumacher