Top 10 Dunkers in NBA
Dunking has turned into an art form, and only a select few have the distinction and honor of being "professional dunkers." The court is their canvas and the dunker (artist) uses his implement of choice (the ball) to put on the show.
I just realized I sound a lot like Bill Walton trying to be philosophical on air with one of his random rants.
Let's take a look at the top 10 high fliers right now in the NBA.
By the way, a fun fact: Legendary and former Los Angeles Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn came up with saying, "slam dunk." He also came up with "air-ball," "finger roll," "triple-double" and "give and go."
Rudy Gay: Forward for Memphis Grizzlies
Gay might be one of the most unappreciated dunkers currently in the league. In recent years he's been slowed by injuries, but he's back healthy this season.
The former UCONN star uses his slender frame coupled with terrific athleticism and quickness and often has magnificent dunks coming off of missed shots.
Derrick Rose: Point Guard for Chicago Bulls
Along with fellow point guard Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Rose can absolutely excite the crowd with his powerful and lethal finishes at the rim.
He uses the most minimal time to launch himself at the rim. As a result, he's turned into one of the top dunkers at his position in the NBA.
Russell Westbrook: Point Guard for Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook has been criticized heavily for last season's playoff run in which he was maligned for his poor shot selection and penchant for turning over the ball. He was never criticized, however, for his dunking ability.
As one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA, the former UCLA standout likes to push the break, and in the open floor with his athleticism he's an absolute nightmare.
Along with Rose, his athleticism and jumping ability for a guy at 6'3" is unparallelled with anyone else playing the point guard position and he just abuses people at the rim who try and contest his dunk attempts.
This dunk in college illustrates this notion.
JaVale McGee: Center for Washington Wizards
McGee might be the most unique dunker in the NBA today. At 7', he runs like a gazelle and displays superlative athleticism on the court nightly.
His most impressive dunking performance came in last year's All-Star game. He entered a bit of an unknown publicly, but left as a guy people have started to pay attention to.
Although he plays for a terrible team, you can bet that McGee provides at least one highlight reel dunk nightly.
Josh Smith: Forward for Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta native Smith has been regarded as one of the premier dunkers in the NBA, dating back to his rookie season seven years ago when he won the 2005 dunk contest.
At 6'9", the lefty Smith has unusual quickness and leaping ability, and he utilizes his extremely long arms to load up and throw down dunks on the competition.
Dwyane Wade: Guard for Miami Heat
For as talented a player as Wade is, his dunking ability is truly a wonderful skill that gets lost sometimes in the public eye.
His assortment of moves out on the court is amazing in and of itself, and his overall game play ranks as one of the best in the NBA. With that said, many of his dunks are just as fabulous.
Wade's specialty is the tomahawk dunk, when he drives the lane and just slams the ball with great authority. His patented one handed dunks are also very apropos.
DeMar DeRozan: Forward for Toronto Raptors
The Compton native first dunked when he was in the sixth grade! Those early signs of wonderful and insane athleticism have transferred over to the NBA where he is one of the most athletic players currently in the league.
While he did not win the two dunk contests that he participated in, he had extremely respectable showings. For Toronto, the high-flyer might not get the notoriety that others do, but he's extremely impressive nonetheless.
At 6'7", he's the quintessential swingman and just absolutely soars through the air when he takes off from the baseline to throw one down.
Dwight Howard: Center for Orlando Magic
Move over Shaq, your Superman moniker is officially with Howard now. The 6'11" center just has jaw-dropping athleticism for a guy his size.
"Superman" sported a superman shirt and cape while defeating the competition at the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest with an incredible performance. His dunk from the free-throw line channeled images of Julius Erving aka Dr. J.
His leaping ability is ungodly and the power he displays is truly impressive.
LeBron James: Forward for Miami Heat
When he's not being dunked on by camp participates, James is without a doubt one of the best dunkers in the league.
He's literally like a locomotive when driving the ball to the basket, and few people even dare to "get on the train tracks" when he drives the lane.
He utilizes awesome power with his dunks, perhaps more so than any other player in the league and his combination of size and speed perhaps has never been seen in the NBA before.
By the way LeBron, keep rocking the headband. No one will ever suspect that you're trying to cover up your receding hairline.
Blake Griffin: Forward for Los Angeles Clippers
Words to describe Griffin's dunks: ferocious, entertaining, outrageous, phenomenal.
Simply, he's the best dunker in the NBA. Griffin doesn't look to lay the ball up, he looks to rip down the rim with every dunk attempt.
His supreme physical tools are always on display, whether he's flying through the air or using brute strength in traffic to finish.
Ask Denver Nugget's Center Timofey Mozgov who the best dunker in the NBA is. I'm sure he'll agree with me.