Admit it, you’ve at least casually wondered which basketball player was the inspiration behind the dozens of highlight clips of elite high school hoopers you encounter on every brief check of any of your social media timelines.
Undoubtedly, Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins, who was winning NBA Slam Dunk contests before Michael Jordan was throwing down tongue-wagging free-throw line jams.
Good luck debating that point, Wilkins, a Hall of Famer, is fittingly known as “The Human Highlight Film.”
“You look back and you’re proud of what you accomplished and certainly what you started,” Wilkins said. “The things that guys try to do today on the highlight videos, we’ve done that. I got it from Dr. J and we just passed it down the next group of guys. Today they’re just presenting it a different way.”
Wilkins had the ultimate presentation when throwing down his trademark one- and two-handed windmill dunks. He won Slam Dunk contest titles in 1985 and 1990.
Still, Wilkins was quick to point out that the downside of highlight vids are that they don’t show the most important part of the game.
“When you see highlights of me it’s always dunks,” said Wilkins, who made nine-NBA All-Star appearances. “Well, I scored over 26,000 points and I didn’t get them all on dunks. I was a creative scorer. I scored in every way possible; inside, outside, I got to the line 10 times a night and shot the three only if it was necessary. I got my threes in the lane; you call those and-ones! I just don’t want young guys to think it’s only about the highlight dunks.”
And therein lies Wilkins’ only issue with what’s become a part of his legacy.
“I love the highlights, but I want the younger players to work on their total game,” Wilkins said. “My game was to attack, but then I mastered the mid-range game too. I wanted to be an efficient scorer and that’s what I became because I worked on everything.”
The true recipe for the ultimate highlight.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY