Vince Carter is the best dunker of all time
Debate Rounds (4)
In order to assess the greatness of a dunker we must look at a few criteria: statistics, style, and cultural impact. It is for those three reasons that I simply cannot agree with the Pro side of this resolution. I will be negating the resolution by arguing that 1) Vince Carter is not the best dunker of all time, 2) Michael Jordan is a better dunker, and 3) Pro hasn’t met his burden of proof.
1) Vince Carter is not the best dunker of all time
In order for some individual to be considered the GOAT (greatest of all time), he must meet certain criteria that place him in that specific, exclusive category. The criteria I’ve established of statistics, style, and cultural impact create the lense through which we will scrutinize Vince Carter’s eligibility. Vince Carter is a good dunker when viewed under statistics and style; he won the NBA’s slam dunk contest in 2000. [1. http://www.nba.com...] However, is that the GOAT? No, there were five NBA players who have won the title of ‘Slam Dunk Champion’
not once, but twice. In fact, three of those men won consecutive titles. This puts Vince Carter at 6th in Slam Dunk Contests if we don’t add any more players, but it gets worse because there were close to 15 other NBA players who won the Slam Dunk competition. So, at best we can say that Carter is 15-way-tied for 6th best dunker in this regard.
2) Michael Jordan is a better dunker
Michael Jordan was the first person to win back-to-back Slam Dunk titles in 1987 and 1988; this is a better accomplishment than Vince Carter’s one title. Furthermore, his style exuded a god-like ability to fly, which landed him the nickname “Air Jordan.” This cultural sensation of his basketball skill, dunking style, and dunking supremacy led to a shoe deal with Nike, which further influenced culture. The shoe’s name “Air Jordan” or “Jordans” are one of the most sought after products on the market today, and they feature MJ doing a characteristic long jump for a dunk. He has also scored more dunks in the NBA than Carter and is featured dunking on more highlight reels. His cultural impact, style, and statistics lead Jordan to being regarded as a better dunker than Carter. [http://en.wikipedia.org...] [http://www.nba.com...] [http://www.nba.com...] [http://en.wikipedia.org...] [http://en.wikipedia.org...]
3) Pro has not met his burden of proof
Pro started with a very weak first round, in which he implicitly accepted full BOP in this debate. He actually concedes partially to my case and further chisels away at his proof by stating, “[Carter is] no question less talented than Jordan and others.” He has yet to meet his burden of proof, yet he’s made an assertion of his personal belief: “I believe that Vince Carter is the best dunker of all time.” Your personal opinions, if not sated with adequate reasoning and evidence, are practically useless in the realm of debate. Rhetorical prowess requires that people's opinions be reinforced and supported by a list of points (assertions) followed by warrants (reasons why assertions are true) and implications (why the previous two matter in terms of the resolution). Try to provide a case like this for your next debate. Improvement is a constant progress with debates. Good luck!
Thank you for reading and debating.
You base your reasoning that Jordan was a better dunker based on two criteria:
1) His endorsements with Nike. You make it sound like his dunking is why he got these deals with Nike and other companies. He actually got these deals because of how great of a player he was not because of how great of a dunker he was. There are many dunkers who have no endorsement deals with any shoe companies,and the reason MJ had all these deals was because he was the best baller and had the biggest name in the basketball world BY FAR. Why wouldn't you want to give MJ an endorsement? He reached out to the most fans during his time. His shoes were called Air Jordans because once he got the endorsement they decided since he could "fly," Air Jordan was a fitting name. To say that since MJ got endorsements is no reason to claim he was the greatest dunker.
2) Your second reason puts a ton of emphasis on winning dunk contests. These mean absolutely nothing. You point out how Jordan won more. Well that's because Carter was only in one in 2000, which many people claim was the greatest performance in dunk contest history. In today's game, Lebron is arguably one of the best dunkers out there, but he has no dunk contest titles. He feels that he doesn't need these to show he's a great dunker, since he shows it every night on the court. VC felt the same way.
Further, this may be hard to understand, but the media hyped MJ like crazy, yes he was a high flyer, but he didn't have the same flair and explosiveness that Vince "Air Canada" had. MJ may have been more revolutionary, but that was only because he came before VC, and that doesn't mean he was a better dunker. Vince would dunk on anybody in his way while MJ would focus more on just getting the ball in the hoop without trying to get on SportsCenter every night.
VC has provided us with some of the best dunks in history. His dunk in the 2000 Olympics where he cleared a 7-footer on a fast break is considered by many the greatest dunk of all time.
Further, you claim MJ was featured dunking on more highlight reels. There is no way to prove either way unless you count every play up, but I think MJ was featured overall on more highlight reels not for his dunks but for all his other plays too. If you look at just dunking, Vince Carter was on more highlight reels than MJ. VC used to sell out arenas wherever he went JUST so people could catch one of his dunks.
Oh yea, and Kobe agrees with me (see video)
I think it would benefit you if you saw what VC did. Take a look at this video, and tell me honestly afterwards that MJ was still a better dunker (see video).
I have not much to add to round two other than reiterate how MJ only revolutionized the dunk more than Vince because he came first, but without a doubt VC is the best dunker of all time. (I just found this Bleacher Report who puts MJ at number three. http://bleacherreport.com...). I will also repeat that just winning dunk contests is meaningless, ESPECIALLY in this case since there was no way anyone wouldn't vote for MJ. He was the face of the game, and to not have him win would have clearly upset everyone (not to mention one year he won was in Chicago). Just Like this past year when Javale McGee showed up Blake Griffen, there's no way Blake will lose, that's just the way it goes. Anyways, Vince won 100 percent of the dunk contests he participated in, so there.
If VC decided he wanted to dunk on you, he would. It was that easy for him. In his prime (and even years after), he could easily dunk on anyone in the league with either hand at will.
As evident by his game winning dunk against the Rockets in the 1999-2000 season, Vince could take anyone to the hoop any time he wanted. He had one of the most explosive last steps in the game. His finesse is unparalleled. VC wouldn't just dunk whenever he wanted in game, but he would dunk it with a windmill, 360, or double pump, many times OVER defenders, and this happened on a nightly basis. If you watch the video posted above, you'll see what I mean. Frankly, once you watch that video it should be plain common sense that the stuff Vince does in that video has never been done by MJ, Dominique, or Dr. J, and for this reason Kobe agrees with me that Vince is the greatest dunker of all time (also see video above).
Overview: Pro claims Vince Carter was the best dunker, yet he rejects my reasons for disagreeing, while not rejecting my criteria for doing so. This results in a fully subjective apraisal of Vince Carter's dunking ability.
-Pro said, “You base your reasoning that Jordan was a better dunker based on two criteria”
No, I based it on three criteria: statistics, style, and cultural impact.
Statistics: the dunker who wins the most contests that demonstrate the highest proficiency in the art of the slam dunk is key, because they have many world-class players, they are judged by several judges that give scores for each participant’s dunk, and they are indicative of the very essence of an athletic and revolutionary dunker. This acts as a check on our outside subjectivity.
Style: the dunker who has arguably the more fluid, revolutionary, and talented style is the better dunker because dunking is not simply an athletic venture, but a beautiful thing to watch.
Cultural impact: a great dunker, especially from the NBA, necessarily causes a cultural impact with his style of dunking. This acts as a check on our subjective tastes because, for example, I may think death metal music is the best type of music, but most people find it physically and psychologically repellant, as well as the people who do work in the fields of music theory, composition, and arrangement. Mozart, Charlie Parker, and Led Zeppelin each had a great cultural impact because, when taken as a whole, people welcomingly received their styles of music as the highest forms. Similarly, a cultural impact in athletic and stylistic dunking ability is indicative of a general regard for a particular dunker.
-My opponent claims, “[Michael Jordan] actually got these deals because of how great of a player he was not because of how great of a dunker he was.”
That’s why on the side of each shoe is a picture of MJ shooting a 3-pointer? No, he is doing his famous dunk that allowed him to garner the name “His Airness.” As Sports Illustrated writes, “Jordan soaring toward the rim tongue extended remains one of the most enduring images in sport.”
-My opponent comments, “Your second reason puts a ton of emphasis on winning dunk contests.”
Yes, because the one of the best methods for ascertaining who the best dunkers are is through the process of holding a formal contest with critical judges in the sport of basketball. MJ scored more perfect dunks than VC even when adjusting for the discrepancy in years in the contest:
PERFECT SCORES (50) ON INDIVIDUAL DUNKS
First off, can you honestly tell me you watched the movie I posted above and are still arguing against VC, who clearly has something which MJ lacked.
MJ only had the edge in dunk contests because of who he was, and the fact that they were formatted differently and the fact that he participated in more contets than Vince. The fact that he won more dunk contests, or had more perfect score dunks than Vince means ABSOLUTELY nothing, but it's not your fault for thinking this.
Your first criteria is statistics, or in other words, dunk contest success.
"the dunker who wins the most contests that demonstrate the highest proficiency in the art of the slam dunk is key."
No, it certainly isn't. Even if you want to claim it is, it is not a fair indication when comparing Vince and MJ because Vince only participated in one dunk contest in his life (which he won by a land slide). MJ participated in three (and won two) so of course he will have more perfect score dunks than Vince.
Also, the scoring system changed dramatically between when MJ competed and when Vince competed. When MJ competed, there were three rounds. The first round consisted of two dunks, the second round consisted of three dunks,and the final round consisted of another three dunks. That's 8 dunks per contest for MJ.
Now, in 2000, when Vince competed, there were only TWO rounds. The first one had three dunks, and the final round had two dunks. That adds up to 5 total. MJ clearly had a much better oppurtunity to go out and post more rounds of higher scores or more perfect dunks. In Vince's only dunk contest, he scored a 50, 49, and 50 in the first round, and a 50 and 48 in the final round. That means Vince scored a perfect score on 60 percent of all the dunks he ever completed in the dunk contest. See my point here?
Also, I'm not sure where you found that NBA encyclopedia where you got your information you included at the end of your argument from, but that is wrong information. If you don't believe me watch the dunk contest for yourself here .
Both VC and MJ have had more perfect scores than the few you listed so do your research next time and look at more than one source. If you watched the dunk contest for yourself you'll see Vince scored three perfect dunks in one contest. You can also look here if you don't believe your own eyes: http://www.allstarnba.es... among many other sources.
How can the encyclopedia be wrong? Don't ask me, I didn't write it. Most of my above facts are from
http://en.wikipedia.org... and http://en.wikipedia.org...
and the stuff in parentheses above.
Further, even if you'd like to prove winning the dunk contest=dunking greatness, I will prove you wrong once again. Let's look at last year's dunk contest. Finals round was JaVale McGee against Blake Griffin, and important to note taking place in LA, home of BG. Now going into the contest, who do you think was going to win? Who was more hyped? Who claimed they would "jump over a car? Who was the hometown hero? It was BG and that's why he won. He was a dunking icon and has been ever since he stepped foot in the league, while McGee was an awkward, athletic freak. Well, McGee got robbed. Although he had a superior performance, completing dunks which have never been completed before, he still lost primarily because BG dunked over the HOOD of a car while a choir performed in the background. This is proof the contest is merely a popularity contest:
This leads me into my next point. Con claimed:
"Because they have many world-class players, they are judged by several judges that give scores for each participant's dunk."
These "judges" are actually fans who text in their votes to determine the champion. This is further proof the dunk contest is fixed and inacurate in determining the better dunker. The more popular player is inevitable to win. And this is another reason why MJ had more dunk contest success. He was the icon of the League, and since he had jumping ability, there was no way he was going to lose. In 1985 he rightfully lost... why? Because he was only a rookie at that point and didn't take over the league yet!!! Everything is about image, and once MJ became who he was he finally won his first dunk contest in 1987, a year which he had finally established himself as the best in the game.
This leads me to another point Con makes which I'd like to address. MJ was known for his dunking not his three point shooting, so obviously his sneaker will have him dunking. I promise you that if MJ had the dunking ability but no actual game, he would not only have lost those dunk contests, but may not even have had his own sneaker, and he wouldn't be nearly as big as he was. He wasn't who he was because he could dunk. He was who he was because he was all around the greatest player who specialized in dunking (relative to others in his generation).
I agree with you that MJ had more of a cultural impact than Vince. But that's only because he played 15 years before Vince! Had Vince showed up on the scene with the stuff he was doing in 2000, then the world would have gone nuts. It's the same reason Dr. J is regarded as the most revolutionary dunker- he was the first to take it to a "show level." Cultural impact should NOT be a criteria in determining who the greatest dunker. Besides, Dr J was the most revolutionary dunker anyways.
Regarding your style argument, I think the only way to prove is if you watch the above video for yourself and admit to yourself that Vince just had more style than MJ. No knock on MJ, he was arguably the second best dunker, but Vince took it to a whole new level.
To sum up, the dunk contest means nothing. On a poll I recently saw on this forum: http://forums.realgm.com...
89 percent of people believe the dunk contest is fixed. The best doesn't always win, it's who the public wants to win so the NBA can garner more views. This is why Nate Robinson was THREE dunk contests. I promise you, he is nowhere close to the level that many other great dunkers were on, but he was a fan favorite for his size. Even DeMar DeRozan, a player who also was robbed in 2011 believes the contest is fixed (http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com... and http://bleacherreport.com...).
My final proof is that the youngest slam dunk contest champion, and a sure top 10 dunker of all time, kobe bryant, agrees 100 percent with me.
If that's not enough than I don't know what is.
Thanks for reading, I know it was a lot, but I had a lot to say!
Dunk Contest and Standards of Measurement.
The first point necessary to deconstruct Pro's case is to show that by dismissing the NBA dunk contest as insufficient evidence, he has in effect dismissed his own standards of evidence as well. Consider that Pro took a poll from a simple forum as supposed evidence that the NBA dunk contest must be fixed or that he takes as evidence mere arguments from authority, such as the opinions of Kobe Bryant and DeMar DeRozan(a player with suspicious motives anyhow seeing as he lost in 2011). Along with this Pro is trying to use a short documentary made in favor of Carter based solely on subjective factors.
My point is that Pro is employing a double standard. How is it that the NBA dunk contest is totally fixed and subjective and all that, but a tiny sampling of players or an Internet forum poll are alright? If Pro is to be consistent in his application of these epistemic standards then his own evidence must be discarded as well. It must be admitted by both Pro and Con to this debate that the subject matter of this debate means objectivity will always be a problem. What is needed are standards which can be at least approximated. The original standards argued (statistics, style, cultural impact)provide the best standard of measurement available. At the very least it is better than the non-existent standard which Pro has provided.
The fact that Jordan participated in more dunk contests is a valid point I'll admit. However the point totally fails when one considers how long Carter and Jordan were in the NBA respectively. Vince Carter has been in the NBA since 1998 (14 years and counting) while Jordan played for about 14 years in all. However, in the span of Jordan's career, he won 2 NBA dunk contests (winning 2/3 of the times he participated) with perfect scores on 4 of his dunks. Carter on the other has only participated in one NBA dunk contest in 2000 so of course he would have fewer perfect dunks. Pro's point may be turned back against him. Carter has had less perfect dunks because he has participated less times. But would the best dunker of ALL time really only be called on to participate in the NBA slam dunk contest one time in 14 years?
(B) Cultural Impact
Pro, knowing that Jordan has clearly had a larger cultural impact on dunking, has dismissed cultural impact as a relevant factor in determining who the best dunker is. But he failed to respond to the point that in the realm of music, bands like Led Zeppelin or The Beatles have been generally recognized as the greatest not only because of their style itself, but owing to the impact that style had on everyone around. Michael Jordan is the face of basketball and his free throw dunk has certainly had the most revolutionary impact on dunking. Pro's point that Carter can't be held responsible because dunking was revolutionized before his time is also moot since if he really is the greatest then surely his revolutionary impact on dunking would be at least comparable to that of Jordan. It's not and thus Jordan wins on that point.
Pro's Burden of Proof
It should be remembered that Pro did have the primary burden of proof in this debate. However it was the Con who actually brought a counter-argument and Pro has primarily only attempted to refute that. No unique argument in favor of Carter's superiority was brought in this debate besides a few Youtube videos. Thus even if it were granted that the points in favor of Jordan's superiority were (though they aren't), one would still be justified in voting Con since Pro still has the Bop left unfulfilled.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by carpediem 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con used NBA websites, while Pro used biased blog posts from one Curly Morris on the bleacherreport. Real stats and argument win. Pro never established a criteria for arriving at Carter's dunking supremacy, and instead spent most of the debate critiquing one of Con's contentions of Michael Jordan, who Pro himself described as more "talented." Doing so, Pro didn't meet his burden of proof, so I'm led to vote Con.
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