clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Perfect Way To Wrap Up The NBA All-Star Break

We started the NBA All-Star break with former Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller getting the cold-shoulder treatment from the secret NBA Hall of Fame voting committee. Whatever. We're over it. Reggie's not going anywhere so his call to the Hall will come soon enough.

So with the All-Star break coming to a close, why not focus on another former Indiana Pacers legend who the NBA fails to recognize properly. Of course, that would be Darnell Hillman the first champion of the NBA Slam Dunk tournament held in 1977. The format was completely different from the modern day equivalent, but the NBA did put on the tournament, a series on mano-a-mano dunk-offs held during halftime of games. Regardless, the league's recognition of Slam Dunk Champions only dates back to 1984. Seriously, I'm starting to believe David Stern thinks he invented the NBA when he took over as commish.

Regardless, thanks to a heads up from Mark Patrick's Facebook page, we have a clip of the 1977 Slam Dunk finals between Dr. Dunk and Larry McNeill. There are a million beautiful things about this clip, but Hillman's Bottle Shoppe warm-up shirt takes the prize. At the time of the finals, Hillman had already been traded from the Pacers, so he no longer wore the official blue and gold and apparently decided to cash in on the air time and represent the Bottle Shoppe, a Broad Ripple liquor store.

I've never wanted a shirt more in my life.

Check out the clip after the jump and make sure you watch it a few times. Whether it's something from the broadcast, the dunks or the attire, each viewing will be highly entertaining. Plus, even if the NBA refuses to recognize Hillman, we have here the proof that Dr. Dunk was the NBA's first Slam Dunk Champ. If anyone else has any additional information on the Bottle Shoppe dunk-off, please share it in the comments.