NBA History: 23 years ago today, a rookie Kobe Bryant won the NBA Dunk Contest (VIDEO)

CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 8: Kobe Bryant #8 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for one of his slam dunks that won first place in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest at Gund Arena on February 8, 1997 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2002 (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

On February 8, 1997, a rookie Kobe Bryant took part in the NBA Dunk Contest. He beat Chris Carr, Michael Finley, Ray Allen, Bob Sura and Darvin Ham to win the title. Kobe was serious about everything he did.