If someone who didn’t follow the NBA saw Spud Webb walking down the street, they would think he was an average person. An NBA player probably would not have been the first thing to cross their mind. But Webb was, in fact, an NBA player and a talented one at that.
Standing 5-foot-7, Webb is one of the shortest players to ever play in the NBA. But he didn’t let his height stop him from playing at a high level. Even though he was not the tallest player out there, he still won an NBA dunk contest. Looking back at his videos, this guy could jump.
Spud Webb’s impressive leaping abilities
Webb amazed people with his jumping abilities. Very few people with Webb’s height can dunk. While he was in the league, he took full advantage of his dunking capability. Most NBA scouts didn’t think that he would play in the NBA. But Webb proved them wrong.
Webb played 12 seasons in the NBA, playing for four different teams. He became a household name during his time playing with the Atlanta Hawks. He played in 814 games and averaged 9.9 points. He won his first Slam Dunk Contest as a member of the Hawks beating his teammate Dominque Wilkins.
1986 Slam Dunk Contest champion
When the NBA caught on to Webb’s dunking skill, they wanted him in the All-Star game festivities. Here you have a rookie and the shortest contestant in the contest going up against some of the best dunkers in the league.
Webb would go on to make it to the finals of the dunk contest and square off against his teammate Dominique Wilkins. Wilkins was known for his powerful dunks. At 6-8, he was given the nickname the Human Highlight Film. So, you had a 5-7 player going up against a much taller player. But they both put on a show for the fans and they got their money’s worth.
Webb was able to capture the trophy and beat his teammate in an electric performance filled with great dunks. It was a sight to see to watch how easy Webb got up and put the ball in the room. He was jumping like he was 6’8. How could someone at that height jump so high?
Spud Webb’s 42-inch vertical
Standing 5-7, Webb had a 42-inch vertical, which was impressive. At the time, it was one of the best verticals that the NBA has seen. He had a lot of explosiveness and power when he went up to dunk the ball. It looked as if he was floating in the air.
Just imagine if Webb was six feet or taller. Who knows what his vertical would have been? Webb was dunking in high school when he was 5-3, so he knew how to throw it down young in his career. He is currently the third shortest player to ever play in the league. Only Earl Boykins and Muggsy Bogues were shorter. Webb made a name for himself in the league, and even though he was not tallest, he was one of the best dunkers when he played.