Top 10 In-Game Dunkers in NBA History
Honorable Mentions: Kobe Bryant (he caught DA-WHITE Howard with a dunk in 2004 that was lethal), Scottie Pippen (his classic dunk is the one over Ewing in the 1994 playoffs), Chris Webber (he has one over Barkley that became a commercial during his rookie year in Golden State)
9. Julius Erving – the OG. The dunk over Michael Cooper in 1983. The dunk over Bill Walton in the 1977 NBA finals. The dunk over Mark Eaton at the Spectrum in 1984. My dad’s favorite basketball team of all time is the Sixers team of 1983. I must have seen “That Championship Feeling”, literally, hundred’s of time’s as a kid. That started the NBA desire, and was my baby starter kit for learning about Julius Erving as a five year old.
8. Shawn Kemp – Blake Griffin before there was Blake Griffin. The Liston Blister. Chris Gatling. The double pump against the Knicks. Drugs ruined his career, but he was a half of famer before the coke.
7. Blake Griffin – Sometimes 2.0 is just better. The dunk on Gallanari is probably his best dunk. My personal favorite is his aerial abuse of Pau Gasol. First, he caught Pau from behind. Then, Pau tried to jump straight up….I bet he’ll think twice next time.
6. Clyde Drexler - Clyde was better in the open floor, then dunking on people. His best dunks are him taking off from the foul line on the Lakers, catching alleys from Terry Porter on a fastbreak, or just going coast-to-coast himself…all while dribbling with his head down. I’ve never seen a dude with a bald spot jump so high.
5. Charles Barkley – Power. Barkley wasn’t as athletic as Kemp or Blake, but he would just go straight up, and dunk on you. Easily the best big man on a fast break. He had good handles, so stepping in front of him on a fast break was a no-no. Outside of Lebron, he was the best finisher as a forward when running the break. I need to do a Barkley post one day.
4. Michael Jordan – same thing with Michael, I need to do a definitive Jordan post. Regarding the dunks, they are legendary. The Fake out in 1991 on Oakley/Ewing. The Mutombo. The alley-oop on Mark Jackson. The Cliff Livingston…my personal favorite is the one on Kelly Tripucka in 89. Steve Martin’s play by play of that dunk is….priceless.
3. Shaquille O’Neal – Shaq dunks are like….prison rapes. Once he has you on the block, it’s brutal. He loved taking it to David Robinson, Mutombo, and of course….Shawn Bradley. He has one on Chris Dudley (Knicks) that is extra disrespectful.
2. Dominique Wilkins – He has a dunk on Larry Bird that was so hard it sent Larry Bird scattering like a roach. It is glorious and brutal.
1. Vince Carter - Best dunker in NBA History. Hands down. He has plenty to choose from but my personal favorite is the one on Fredric Weis (who the Knicks drafted in the 1st round, and never played a single minute)….I remember watching that game, and then going to school the next day and everyone talking about it. And then….the dunk contest in Oakland with Steve Francis and McGrady was the best dunk contest ever.