Dominique Wilkins -- one of the greatest high flyers in NBA history -- says he knows how to fix the (broken) slam dunk contest, telling TMZ Sports superstars must participate ... just like he and Michael Jordan did back in the day.

We spoke with the Hall of Famer -- a 2x Slam Dunk champ known for his prowess as a dunker -- about why the dunk contest has fallen out of favor with NBA fans, and how he would fix it.

"Until you get star athletes, your best players who are athletic to get in the dunk contest," Wilkins said, continuing ... "It takes a lot away from it. You don't have that same pop -- that same energy."

'Nique then lamented about the old days ... when bonafide superstars, legends, entered the contest each and every year.

"When we did the dunk contest Michael [Jordan] myself, Dr. J, Larry Nance, you talking Spud [Webb] ... they wanted to know who the best was."

Of course, Dominique was part of the greatest and most memorable DC ever ... a showdown against MJ in 1988. Jordan won ... but it was controversial.

Wilkins says during his day the dunk contest set the tone for All-Star weekend, giving fans something to look forward to. But, Wilkins admits as of late, it's been less than stellar.