Anthony Jerome“Spud” Webb (born July 13, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball point guard. Webb….who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA)….and is best known for winning a The Slam Dunk Contest despite being one of the shortest players in NBA history….as NBA.com lists him at 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) tall.
Spud Webb was the shortest person to EVER compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest….winning the event at the All Star Weekend in 1986 at Dallas’ Reunion Arena….where his participation surprised the media…. including his teammate and defending dunk champion Dominique Wilkins….who had NEVER seen Spud dunk before…whereas his dunks included the elevator two-handed double pump dunk….the off-the-backboard one-handed jam….a 360-degree helicopter one-handed dunk…..a reverse double-pump slam…. and finally, the reverse two-handed strawberry jam from a lob bounce off the floor dunk. He defeated Wilkins with two perfect 50-point scores in the final round….after which Atlanta coach Mike Fratello said that “Spud kind of duped him. He told Wilkins he never had anything prepared, didn’t practice for it. So, Wilkins maybe thought his normal assortment would be good enough to get through”. Twenty years after Webb’s victory in the Slam Dunk contest….he trained New York Knicks point guard Nate Robinson (who stands at 5 feet 9 inches tall) to win the event….when Spud tossed the ball to Robinson….who leaped over Webb and dunked, earning 50 points from the judges. Robinson went on to win, making him and Spud the only two people in NBA history under six feet tall to win a slam dunk contest.
Spud and Nique were Atlanta Hawk teammates from 1985 to 1991…..and in the 1987–88 season (the season of this interview of the two….Wilkins posted the highest scoring average of his career….and finished second to Jordan in the NBA scoring race. He averaged 30.7 points for the Hawks…and Atlanta (50-32) won at least 50 games for the third straight season and advanced to the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals….before losing to the Boston Celtics in seven games. In Game 7 on May 22…. Nique Wilkins and Larry Bird carried their respective teams to a thrilling finish….trading bucket for bucket in the fourth quarter until Boston won with a 118-116 victory. Wilkins finished with 47 points and Bird had 34-with 20 of his points tallied in the fourth quarter….“The basket was like a well,” remembered Wilkins. “I couldn’t miss. He couldn’t miss. And it went down to the last shot of the game. Who was going to make the last shot? That’s the greatest game I’ve ever played in or seen played. It was two guys who just did not want to lose.”