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.
J-Rich was a solid NBA player throughout his career, averaging 17 points and 5 rebounds a game on his career, with a 23 points a game high in the 2005-06 season. That said, when you think of Jason Richardson, the last thing you think about were the points he scored. You think about his larger-than-life antics in the various Dunk contests he appeared in. He won the competition twice, back to back years in 2002 and in 2003. Here was how he pulled it off.
His go-to dunk was the “under the legs” kind – and he pretty much mastered every variation of that. He threw it off the backboard, jumped, caught it in mid-air, put the ball under his legs and slammed it in. And then there was the time he did the same thing except that he threw a lob to himself from the baseline. What are you waiting for? Go watch it yourself!