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View Full Version : Darnell Hillman's "The Bottle Shoppe" Slam Dunk Win



IndyHoya
02-20-2011, 01:01 PM
This is my favorite NBA Slam Dunk Contest - check out the video. This was the 1976-1977NBA Slam contest, the first one. And it's one, incidentally, which featured a win from former Pacer Darnell Hillman (representing "The Bottle Shoppe").

It's a great period piece. For one thing, the young Darnell Hillman had by far the best Afro in the NBA at the time (and possibly all time).

For another, because at the time of the contest, he was between teams, he showed up at the finals wearing a tee shirt from a liquor store (which is still around) located at 49th & College in Indianapolis called "The Bottle Shoppe."

I remember reading somewhere that before the contest, Darnell had come in to the liquor store to buy some booze and the owner asked him what jersey he'd be wearing. Darnell told him he didn't know. The owner then gave him a Bottle Shoppe T-shirt and suggested he wear it to the dunk contest. Darnell agreed. The T-shirt was kind of a tight fit.

The announcers doing the dunk contest at the time didn't quite know what to say about either Darnell's Liquor Store shirt or the fact that Darnell really didn't belong to an NBA team at the time. So they simply ignored these topics all together -- silence being political correctness, I suppose.

It's a pretty funny vid and shows from the contest's humble beginnings how far things have come.


http://dunkcontest.free.fr/index.php?post/2011/01/07/The-Forgotten-1976-77-NBA-Dunk-Contest

More on Darnell's recollections of the contest here. It's a fun read:

http://www.apbr.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=12177

Peck
02-21-2011, 02:56 AM
http://www.homepages.indiana.edu/101703/images/Bliss2.jpg

I always wonder when younger people come to the fieldhouse and see this guy walking all over the place and working harder than almost anyone else if they ever realize that this guy at one point in time was one of the best dunkers in the world and a very solid power forward for our team.

Day-V
02-21-2011, 03:09 AM
http://www.homepages.indiana.edu/101703/images/Bliss2.jpg

I always wonder when younger people come to the fieldhouse and see this guy walking all over the place and working harder than almost anyone else if they ever realize that this guy at one point in time was one of the best dunkers in the world and a very solid power forward for our team.

I'm thankful that my dad was able to teach me about him and about a lot of the old ABA-era Pacers. I've met him a few times at the Fieldhouse. He's a really nice dude.