Here’s what happened.
On February 8, 1986, Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb scored a victory for the little guy, figuratively and literally. Webb stands only 5’7” but leaped into the record books as the shortest player in National Basketball Association (NBA) history to win the league’s annual Slam Dunk Contest. Webb performed his historic feat before a hometown crowd; the NBA All-Star Weekend was held that year in Dallas, Texas.
Here’s why it matters.
Spud Webb led Midland Junior College to a national championship in 1982, and then went to become a standout at North Carolina State University. His size initially kept him out of NBA consideration, but he eventually won a spot with the Atlanta Hawks in 1985. Webb’s career with Atlanta lasted seven seasons. He also played with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings, where he was a starter.
Webb now serves as President of Basketball Operations for the Texas Legends, a team in the NBA Development League.
Here’s an interesting fact!
In 2006, 5’9” Guard Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks became the second shortest player in NBA history to win the Slam Dunk contest. Robinson’s dunk coach stood in front of the basket and lofted the ball. Robinson caught the ball in mid-arc, leaped over his coach, and finished with a clean dunk. Robinson’s coach was Spud Webb.