VinceWay back in 1976, the American Basketball Association decided to try something new by holding a “Slam Dunk Contest,” which saw Julius “Dr. J” Erving steal the show by dunking from just inside the foul line.

A lot has changed in the 40 years since that inaugural event, but one constant remains: This contest is all about star power, and if you bring something special to the table, you can earn a permanent place in basketball lore.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Zach LaVine did just that last season with a scintillating performance to take home the 2015 crown. But the 19-year-old’s dunking display was far from the best in the contest’s history.

Before LaVine tries to defend his crown in Toronto on Feb. 13 against Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton, Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond and Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, check out the best Slam Dunk Contest moments of all time.

Click for the 8 best NBA Slam Dunk Contest moments ever >>

Photo via YouTube/NBA