June 22, 2024

Old video of Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Penny Hardaway in dunk showdown is absolute gold

Old video of Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Penny Hardaway in dunk showdown is absolute gold
X/Tracy McGrady

Team Flight Brothers (TFB) is a world-famous group whose rise to fame was propelled by countless highlight dunk videos that have gone viral. Recently, TFB came up with another highlight reel that would surely garner a gazillion views, if it hasn’t already.

This time, the featured high-flyers weren’t TFB members.

The video came from an exhibition game in 1997, hosted by NBA legend Magic Johnson. In what seems to be the end of the game, or a break, a dunk showdown ensued. 

Those who took part are a young Kobe Bryant, a young Ray Allen, just-got-drafted-into-the-NBA Tracy McGrady, 90s superstar Penny Hardaway, Slam Dunk champ Brent Barry, along with future NBA All-Stars Michael Finley, Jerry Stackhouse, and Stephon Marbury. Oh, and a guy named Charles O’Bannon was on it as well.

TFB said it practically took blood, sweat, and tears to get hold of the legendary footage.

“Took me a long time (25 years) and hard work to acquire this footage,” TFB wrote on its Facebook page.

“Summer 1997, Magic Johnson’s midsummer night's all-star game and one of the greatest dunk contests happened that has never been seen unless you were in the building.”

All the dunkers brought out some pretty nice jams, especially considering the era it was in. The two standout flyers, however, were Kobe and T-Mac. 

McGrady brought out his two-handed, 360, double-pump jam. Yep, the same one he used in the iconic 2000 dunk contest. The Black Mamba, however, stole the show. Kobe did an off-the-bounce East Bay Funk Dunk from the baseline. And for the dagger, he soared for an elbow dunk a la Vince Carter.

So, who originated the elbow dunk? TFB had some clarifications.

“Vince Carter did NOT steal this dunk from Kobe. The elbow dunk goes back on film back to as far back as 1986 with Roy Hinson. Barry Hardy, James Wilson,” TFB wrote.

Yep, the crew with the world’s best dunkers certainly know its stuff.

See the full video in its full glory here: 


(GM)