The most electrifying and highly anticipated play in basketball, the word "dunk" conjures up MJ revolutionizing the Slam Dunk contest with his free-throw line jam, Spud Webb conquering the odds as well as his minuscule stature to throw down some wicked jams and Vince Carter having one of the most dominating dunk contest performances ever.
The Utah Jazz are not known for having a large number of talented dunk artists on their roster historically, but they're actually fairly rich in dunking heritage. The Jazz have been fairly well represented over the years in the dunk contest, and two of the more unheralded and underrated dunkers in NBA history will appear on this list.
The group of five players that I selected for this list were not unusually difficult choices, but ranking them was very difficult. An argument could be made for just about any of these five as the best dunker in Utah Jazz history.
Let the controversy begin!
I have who most would pick (at least among long-term fans) as the No. 1 dunker in Jazz history at this spot for a good reason.
Jeremy Evans is the best dunk artist in Utah lore because he's the franchise's only winner of the NBA Dunk Contest.
Evans also passes the eye test in terms of greatest dunkers.
Exhibit A: This sick dunk over Gerald Wallace from last preseason that technically didn't count. This is one of the best dunks I've ever seen, and made me yell so loud I frightened my then one-year-old son to tears.
Evans may be a hard sell for the title of best Jazz dunker ever due to his age and sparse minutes, but he's done enough already to prove he deserves to sit atop Utah Jazz dunking throne.
That's right, Jazz die-hards. I have Darrell Griffith at No. 2 on my list.
Darrell Griffith not only had one of the most impressive verticals among players in his era, he also had arguably the best nickname of them all. Who doesn't love "Dr. Dunkenstein?"
Griffith was a sensationally athletic player who may have been a little ahead of his time. If Griffith played in today's considerably more offense-friendly league, where refs are much quicker to their whistles, he likely would've been No. 1 on this list, not to mention a much more significant player in the annals of NBA history.
Theodore "Blue" Edwards is one of my personal favorites as a dunker and as a Utah Jazz alumnus.
Edwards was another uber-athletic swingman who once donned the musical note on his jersey. He wowed Utah fans with his thunderous slams and the grace and effortlessness he put in dunk after dunk.
His patented self-alley-oop reverse jam, seen multiple times in the above video, was his trademark slam, something very few guys have anymore.
David Benoit is truly a diamond in the rough in terms of unheralded dunkers and former Jazz players. Benoit does not get the accolades and appreciation he deserves.
Benoit was replaced by Bryon Russell shortly before the Utah Jazz juggernaut reached its full potential in the mid-late 90's, which is possibly why Benoit's name is not as well known as it should have been.
Benoit is very similar to Edwards in terms of relative obscurity and a penchant for throwing down sick jams on fast breaks.
Benoit represented the Jazz in multiple dunk contests and always had a respectable showing.
Though he lacks the finesse that other dunkers have, a Utah Jazz dunk list would not be complete without "The Mailman."
Those who are mostly or only familiar with Malone from his later years going head to head with Jordan and Pippen's Bulls needs to watch the attached video and the dozen or so just like it on YouTube. Malone thundering a jam home in his early to mid-20's is almost unparalleled in terms of sheer force and violence.
If a defender got in his way, it's more like Malone would dunk through them than over them. His opponent could seemingly get as high as possible, and the freakishly strong and freakishly athletic Malone would succeed in slamming the ball home anyway.