Basketball fans had been waiting for the Michael Jordan / Dominique Wilkins rematch since 1985. Injuries had derailed the Dunk Contest meet-up in 1986 and ‘87, but in 88, Michael and the “Human Highlight Reel” put on a classic duel.
Jordan’s victory over Wilkins in 1988 in Chicago finished with a perfect 50-score dunk from the free-throw line for his third dunk to win the contest. However, the announcers did note that Wilkins was given abnormally low score for his breathtaking third dunk, a 45, allowing Jordan to win it by 2 with his perfect 50. To this day, the allegations of “home cooking” still float around surrounding the event - it was held on Jordan’s home court; one of the judges was former Chicago Bears star Gayle Sayers; and another judge, former NBA star Tom Hawkins, is a Chicago native - and is considered arguably the most controversial of the slam dunk competitions. With this victory, Jordan became the first player to win the dunk contest two years in a row.