At 5′ 7″ former NBA pro Spud Webb has almost always been the smallest guy on the court. Despite his stature, Webb proved to be a formidable player throughout his career. With that being said, it was still a shock when Spud Webb defeated his then Atlanta Hawks teammate and one of the best dunkers of all time Dominique Wilkins in the 1986 dunk contest on this day over 30 years ago.
With players like Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler and Larry Nance all participating in the contest the year prior, the 1986 competition was hyped up. In fact, all the dunk contests back in the 1980’s and 1990’s were much more craved by the fans than they are today –particularly due to lack of star power.
Webb proved to the world that size didn’t matter. The pint sized high flyer pulled off some dunks that those who were a foot taller than him could not. While looking more impressive for just how high off the ground Webb got, his dunks didn’t exactly lack power.
Whether it was the reverse, 360, double clutch, or the bounce off the glass put-back, Webb garnered multiple perfect scores on his way to become the slam dunk champion.
The Dallas native went on to play seven seasons with the Hawks before splitting time between the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, back to the Hawks and Orlando Magic. His most successful years came with the Kings where he played as a starter and averaged 16 points per game and 7.1 assists per game in 1991-1992. Webb retired from the NBA in 1997 with the Orlando Magic, but played a season in the NBA Development League in 1998 with the Idaho Stampede.
Webb translated that year of experience in the D-League to his current employment as the President of Basketball Operations for the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks affiliate in the now NBA G-League.
As the third shortest player in NBA history, Webb will always be known for his 1986 NBA Slam Dunk victory, which is still renowned as one of the best contests of all time. Born into poverty, Spud Webb balled his way into fame and never looked back.