Dunking in basketball has been the surest way to score points for your team for decades. The NBA has relied on giant players slamming the ball in and breaking through opposition defenses. These players are the best at getting inside the three-point line and leaping for the basket.
Obviously Jordan was going to be in the discussion, he wasn’t called ‘Air Jordan’ for nothing. His silhouette has become an icon of the sport, and is even the logo of his own Jordan brand. One of the most impressive things about Jordan’s dunking ability was the fact that he could dunk on basically anybody from anywhere. He not only got the air but the hangtime to leap from way down the court.
There was one player who rivaled Jordan in dunking ability during the legendary Chicago Bulls star’s career. That man was Dominique Wilkins, and he was given the nickname ‘The Human Highlight Film’ for good reason. He won two NBA Slam Dunk Contests and faced off against Jordan in possibly the best ever dunking competition ever. Not only did Wilkins slam the ball home with authority, he always did it in style.
Before he was dunking for fun in the NBA, Vince Carter was already known for his ability to drive the ball home in college. He won the 2000 dunk contest and sealed his place as one of the most prolific slam dunkers in basketball. His crowning moment as the king of dunking came in the 2004 Olympic Games where he rammed home a dunk while jumping over a 7 ft tall French player. The American team took home the gold in Sydney that year thanks to Carter’s ability to get the ball in the net.
On his way to becoming one of the best players in the NBA, Bryant won the 1997 dunk contest at the tender age of just 18. The teenager from Philadelphia stole the show at the dunking contest, becoming the youngest player ever to win. A Hall of Fame career followed, and Bryant has scored the third most points in the history of the NBA with 33,643. Bryant had a determination to get under the basket, and that drive made him one of the NBA’s greatest ever.
Big Shaq wasn’t the most elegant dunker of all time, but he would not be denied his points. With such a big frame few people could stop the dynamic O’Neal when he got going. His ability to crash through the blocks to slam the ball home scored him a total of 28,596 points in his career, making him one of the heaviest scorers in history. When O’Neal was on the court backboards were never safe, and the monster dunker smashed several during his career.
These are the players who have dunked their way to legendary status in the NBA. Their ability to get the ball in the hoop no matter what has made them some of the highest scoring players in basketball history.