I remember the first time I ever dunked a basketball and how cool it felt. I had been trying to dunk for a long time and even did all kinds of different jumping workouts to get to that point. Dunking in an actual game was much more exciting. After I threw it down on the break my confidence went sky-high, and I felt virtually unstoppable.
That was a long time ago and I no longer have those kind of springs, but as I thought about those good old days I started to reminisce about the best dunkers I have ever seen in the NBA. And we’re not talking about dunk contest dunkers either. That is a different list for another day. What I’m referring to are the guys who got me to jump out of my seat or off my couch in the middle of the game because they just embarrassed someone with a sick dunk. All the guys who make the list have done that on a regular basis.
You will notice that are some prominent names who aren’t on this list. that is because this is the best game dunkers I have ever seen-guys like Dr. J and Darryl Dawkins were before my time.
You will also notice there is quite a mixture of players on this list. The reason for that is because not all dunkers are the same. Some players dunk with grace and flair while others just have sheer power.
Clearly a list like this is very subjective and is based on my personal opinion so your list might be totally different based on what you like.
15. Derrick Rose
Since he hasn’t played in a game in over a year some of you might have forgotten how great of a dunker Derrick Rose is. He gets off the floor so fast that he’s at the rim out of nowhere and throwing it down. Hopefully he hasn’t lost that explosion when he returns to the Bulls.
14. Robert Pack
Some of you may not remember Robert Pack because he wasn’t exactly a big-time player, but he sure could get up. He didn’t dunk all the time, but when he did you were talking about it for days. My two favorite dunks that Pack had where on Thurl Bailey and Shawn Bradley.
13. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq dunked with such force that you couldn’t help but take notice. For the first ten years of his NBA career it felt like all he did was dunk on people with authority. My favorite Shaq dunk came against the Nets when he destroyed the whole basket. It was just silly.
12. Jason Richardson
Richardson is still a very serviceable player in the league, but no longer has the lift that he used to. I for one, wish he still did because Richardson could fly. Whenever he got open on the break you know a crazy windmill or sweet 360 was coming your way.
11. Gerald Green
Green isn’t so much a basketball player as he is a jumper who plays ball. He kills it when he’s in the dunk contest, but some of his game dunks have been even more impressive. I still remember his dunk from a couple of seasons back when he was with the Nets. He caught an alley-oop and was looking into the rim when he threw it down. Not very many guys can ever say they have done that.
10. Russell Westbrook
Westbrook is one of the best athletes I have ever seen. His explosion is second to none. He is on you like a flash and dunking on your head with authority seconds later. If you don’t believe me you will just have to ask David Lee or Lamar Odom.
9. Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson was an unbelievable point guard in his day and also a spectacular dunker. KJ had two of the best dunks I have ever seen. The first was on Hot Rod Williams and the second was on Hakeem Olajuwon. The one on “dream” is my favorite.
8. Tracy McGrady
I swear that everybody who ever played in the NBA posterized Shawn Bradley at one point or another, but the guy who did it the best was “T-Mac”. I can just see him taking in baseline and packing it right in Bradley’s face. Even though McGrady had a lot of other incredible dunks, that one was just priceless.
7. Shawn Kemp
Kemp was a silly athlete while he was playing in Seattle and dominated at the rim. In fact, the only think he could really do early on in his career was dunk, but that was good enough for me. My favorite was when he was playing against Golden State and he just whipped it home on Alton Lister’s head.
6. Michael Jordan
The greatest player of them all was also a sick dunker. I know I’m gonna get roasted for not having him higher on the list but oh well. Jordan has had tons of sick dunks, but his best was when he posterized Patrick Ewing and the Knicks.
5. Dominique Wilkins
Wilkins had so much power and always threw in down with two hands which made it much more impressive. In my opinion, his best game dunk came against the Milwaukee Bucks when he just abused Bob Lanier on the way to a ferocious jam.
4. Kobe Bryant
Kobe has always been a great dunker who always seems to dunk on you just to make a point – and that point was, “I am better than you.” My favorite Kobe dunks were on Dwight Howard and on Ben Wallace. The reason they both stand out is because they were both big intimidating shot blockers, but Kobe didn’t care. He took it right at them and the rest is history.
3. LeBron James
LeBron might be the greatest athlete the world has ever seen and that is reflected in his dunks. He gets so much elevation and always throws it down with such force. It’s truly a sight to behold.
2. Blake Griffin
Griffin has only been in the league a short time, but is already one of the best dunkers ever. Griffin dunks everything and it’s always with rim rocking authority. If he keeps this pace up he might just be number one on this list when his career is done.
1. Vince Carter
Was there any doubt who number one would be? Vince has been embarrassing opposing players since high school with his merciless dunks and hasn’t stopped to this day. Since this list only covers his best NBA dunks, my favorites were when he jumped over Alonzo Mourning and when he jumped over Tim Duncan. They are both just vicious and need to be a part of any basketball fans video library.