Well, now we know Michael Jordan won at least two slam dunk contests in 1988.
You might have heard of the first one. It took place at Chicago Stadium on All-Star Weekend. A free throw-line dunk…a perfect 50…Dominique Wilkins, etc. Ring a bell?
The other one is a little more under-the-radar. Thanks to some resurfaced VHS-caliber tape, we found that Jordan won a second contest in August of that year:
According to a report from The Post and Courier, Air Jordan visited the University of South Carolina campus that summer to judge a youth basketball exhibit put on by director George Glymph. The competition, which featured a three-point and dunk contest, featured an 18-year-old Jo Jo English. He would later star as a Gamecock in Columbia. And yes, it’s the same player who would play with the Bulls in parts of three seasons from 1992-95.
English thought he would be the only star to take the court. But there was a twist.
Glymph told Jordan and English that they would compete against each other in a dunk contest after the exhibition ended. How did it go? Vintage MJ.
Jordan had to borrow shoes from a high school student. He also didn’t have his No. 23 jersey. And he hit the court in warm-up pants that resembled blue jeans.
According to David Cloninger’s report, Jordan followed English’s dunk routine in a bizarre game of HORSE- a sort of, «Anything you can do, I can do better.»
It culminated with Jordan doing his trademark free-throw line takeoff -yes, in those blue pants- and landed the same dunk that brought the house down in Chicago six months prior. The crowd of 12,000-plus went bedlam. Jordan won again.
And if Jordan had actually donned blue jeans, would there have been any doubt he would have won?
How Michael Jordan won another 1988 slam dunk contest wearing ‘blue jeans’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago