Did you know that the Milwaukee Bucks have had some great dunkers play for their franchise? This includes one of the greatest dunkers in the last 15 years.
Long-time fans of the Bucks have seen several good players come and go. Their history, which dates back to 1968, is filled with so many great shooters like Ricky Pierce and Ray Allen that many of us forget about their athletic players.
No play in basketball ignites people the way that a dunk does.
Dunks have excited NBA fans for decades. They can inject energy to one team while demoralizing the other. NBA teams bring in players who are primarily dunkers and fancy them as energy players.
In recent drafts, NBA owners and general managers have sought out players who have dunking as a part of their skill set. The Bucks have bought in to this trend with the recent drafting of power forward Larry Sanders.
Sanders is one of the best dunkers in the history of the Bucks franchise. There are six other Bucks players that join him as the best dunkers. In no particular order, they are:
When Terry Cummings played with the Bucks, he was a force to be reckoned with. Cummings was a great finisher around the rim and he had a vicious dunking style.
Career highlights of Cummings on the basketball floor shows just how exciting of a dunker he was. The two-time NBA All-Star could finish with either hand, while adding a touch of finesse.
Cummings terrorized his opponents for 18 NBA seasons and averaged 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Darvin Ham was all about raw power when it came to his dunks. When it came to alley-oops, Ham was one of the better finishers during his eight-year pro career. His dunking ability earned him the nicknames of “Dunkin Darvin” and “Ham Slamwich.”
Unfortunately, his NBA career did not take off the way he did when he dunked. Not to be outdone, Ham was a 1997 NBA Slam Dunk Contest participant just one year after winning the NCAA Slam Dunk crown.
He is most notable for shattering a backboard during a college game for Texas Tech University.
Ham is currently an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ray Allen is regarded as a silky-smooth shooter, but before he made his living from shooting threes, he was a flamboyant finisher around the basketball rim.
Allen was one of Darvin Ham’s opponents in the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. They both lost to the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, but Allen proved that he was more than a one-trick pony.
After Allen’s career is over, he will be Hall of Fame bound. How many people will remember that he once a dunker?
Richard Jefferson only played one season with the Bucks but he made his presence known with his thunderous jams.
Jefferson has always had the reputation of a fierce dunker and was a NBA Slam Dunk Contest competitor in 2003. His showing in the Slam Dunk Contest showed a flaw in his game.
After failing to finish one of his dunks in the 2003 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Jefferson proved that he was a better in-game dunker.
Jefferson is still considered as one of the NBA's best dunkers.
If Larry Sanders figures it out, he can become one of the best power forwards in the NBA. For now, Sanders is one of the NBA’s fiercest dunkers.
Few NBA players can catch an alley-oop pass and dunk it with so much consistency and force. Sanders will catch the ball and knows exactly what he wants to do with it.
As a player who stands at 6’11”, there will be no Slam Dunk Contests in Sanders’ future. With a few exceptions, most notably Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee and Blake Griffin, the NBA have shied away from adding taller players to the Slam Dunk Contest. Sanders will not receive an invitation any time soon.
That should not stop Sanders from making highlights with his authoritative jams as his career continues.
Desmond Mason has a NBA Slam Dunk crown (winner in 2001 and runner-up in 2003) on his resume. Few players matched his athleticism during his NBA career, as he played for five teams in 10 seasons.
He dunked the basketball with authority and mixed in a little flair.
Mason had a good pro career by averaging 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Not many of us will remember Mason for his statistics.
We will remember Mason for his dunking ability. Mason is considered as one of the best dunkers in the NBA over the last 15 years.
You have be a basketball historian to remember Greg Smith’s playing career with the Bucks.
Smith only played in the NBA for eight seasons. The small forward averaged 7.8 points and 6.2 rebounds for three teams.
He helped the Bucks win their first and only NBA Championship in 1971 as a high-flyer. His acrobatic dunks would have made many highlight films today.
Unfortunately, his playing days came during a time when ESPN, NBA TV and Fox Sports were just pipe dreams.
Smith gets credit here as the Bucks’ original great dunker in their history.
A few other players narrowly missed the cut as the top dunkers in the Bucks’ franchise. This includes arguably the most famous Buck of them all, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Abdul-Jabbar was more of a finesse player during his career. He would rather beat his defenders with his unstoppable sky-hook than throw down a strong jam.
Nevertheless, Abdul-Jabbar had his share of great moments while playing in the post for the Bucks’ from 1969-1975. He was a three-time NBA MVP (1971-1972 and 1974) with the Bucks and was the catalyst for the Bucks’ lone championship.
Other Bucks who missed the list were Hakim Warrick (shown here), Blue Edwards, Paul Pressey and Anthony Mason.
All statistics were taken from basketballreference.com and all videos were taken from YouTube.