Dime Magazine Presents: The Top 10 NBA All-Star Moments of the 2000s

Dime Magazine Presents: The Top 10 NBA All-Star Moments of the 2000s

#5: Steve Francis' Silver Medal
WHEN: 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, Oakland
DIME SAYS: Any other year, any other dunk contest, Stevie Franchise's performance would have easily been enough to win. Just not this year. Francis would do something spectacular, and then Vince Carter would follow it up with something ungodly that made Francis' previous dunk obsolete.
COMPLEX SAYS: Damn, Stevie. In high school you was the man, homie.

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#4: Dwight Howard's "Superman" dunk
WHEN: 2008 Slam Dunk Contest, New Orleans
DIME SAYS: How high were the stakes for Dwight with this one? If he makes it, he's got an easily marketable nickname and one of the top dunk-contest memories of all-time. If he misses, he's known as the Carrot Top of the dunk contest. He made it.

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#3: Jordan's should've-been game-winner
WHEN: 2003 All-Star Game, Atlanta
DIME SAYS: Some guys just don't appreciate a storybook ending. In the last All-Star appearance of Michael Jordan's career, the G.O.A.T. capped what had actually been a bad game for him by sticking a vintage baseline fadeaway with four seconds left to put the East up by two. That should have been the game-winner, but Jermaine O'Neal fouled Kobe Bryant just before the buzzer, and Kobe's free throws sent the game to overtime, where the East lost. This narrowly edged out Mariah Carey's halftime stroke show as the game's enduring image.

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#2: Iverson and Starbury lead the East comeback
WHEN: 2001 All-Star Game, D.C.
DIME SAYS: Non-competitive blowouts are something of an All-Star tradition, but in '01 it was different. The East was down by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter, but led by Stephen Marbury and eventual League/All-Star MVP Allen Iverson, came back to make it a ballgame. Marbury's three with 28 seconds left proved to be the game-winner in the best All-Star Game we've seen since the Rolando Blackman Confidence Bowl.
COMPLEX SAYS: Our fave memory from this was seeing Sprewell race off the bench to taunt in Chris Webber's face right after the buzzer sounded (see 6:28 of clip). Yeah, Spree!

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#1: Vince Carter
WHEN: 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, Oakland
DIME SAYS: Even from our seats in the upper reaches of the Golden State Warriors' arena, the buzz throughout Vince Carter's breakout moment is still unmatched by any NBA event outside of a playoffs or Finals game. As it was happening, you knew Vince was setting the bar for how every other dunk contest would forever by judged. Vince never did an All-Star dunk contest again. He didn't have to.

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