Best Dunkers in Miami Heat History

Allen Levin@@TheNBAllenCorrespondent IIOctober 12, 2012

Best Dunkers in Miami Heat History

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    The Miami Heat have benefited from having unique talent in their short time as a franchise.

    The Heat have won two championships, and made the postseason 16 times in their 24 years of existence. 

    Needless to say, they have fielded rosters with some superb talent. 

    Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, the Heat earned the reputation of being one of the toughest teams around, with a focus on hard-nosed defense and a top inside-outside game. 

    The Heat's philosophy always was to boast a good power game, with guys like Rony Seikaly, Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O'Neal anchoring past Miami teams. 

    However, that all changed when Dwyane Wade came onto the scene in 2003, bringing electricity and jaw-dropping athletic displays to South Beach. Before Wade, the Heat had limited choices of high-flying stars who get a crowd going from sheer athleticism or dunking ability. 

    Still, the Heat contained some top-tier athletes through the years, who have showcased some superior dunking ability on occasion. 

    Here are the top high flyers in Heat history. 

7. Jamario Moon

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    I had to throw this guy on the list just for the sheer athleticism this kid possessed.

    While he only played 24 games for the Heat as a throw-in on the Shaq deal, this dude established quite a connection with Dwyane Wade at the end of the 2009 season. 

    Wade would frequently find Moon in the open court for beautifully-timed and flashy alley-oops. 

    Moon's lengthy, 6'8" frame made him a matchup problem for a lot of opponents, and his outstanding leaping ability made him fun to watch. 

6. Ricky Davis

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    Ricky Davis was a headcase throughout his career, but boy, was he a nasty dunker. 

    He might be notoriously remembered for bouncing the ball off his team's basket in order to get a rebound that would give him a triple-double, but one cannot disrespect his athletic ability. 

    Davis had two stints with the Heat, one as a very young player and the other time slightly past his prime, so a lot of his noteworthy dunks came when he was a member of the Cavaliers and Celtics

    However, Davis put on some exciting plays in his short times with the Heat. 

    His dunk over Steve Nash is probably his most acclaimed slam. 

5. Dorell Wright

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    Wright had a disappointing six years in Miami. After being selected with the 19th overall pick in the 2004 draft, there was so much promise for the straight-outta-high school prospect. 

    Wright's freak athletic ability and unique skill set were expected to make him a key contributor on the team. 

    However, Wright never reached his potential and wasn't able to materialize into what Miami envisioned him to become. 

    Still, Wright brought some exciting moments to the AAA with quite a few acrobatic dunks to his name.

    Every now and then, Wright would show up and make a case for himself with a crowd-jolting dunk, but he never became a complete player in a Miami uniform.

    This alley-oop from Wade in the 2009 playoffs was pretty. 

4. Eddie Jones

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    Eddie Jones may be remembered more for his clutch three-point shooting than his athletic ability, but make no mistake about it: Jones was a high flying machine in his early years. 

    By the time he came to the Heat, he had been reduced mostly to an effective jump shooter who got most of his points on the perimeter. However, in his first two years with the Heat, he still maintained some of his above-the-rim capabilities. 

    Jones will always be a fan favorite in Miami, and it is always sweet to pay respect to a dynamic player like Eddie, who was a fantastic shooter and highlight-reel dunker.

3. Harold Miner

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    Miner is the obvious choice for the three spot on this list, being that he holds the distinguished title as the only slam dunk champion in Heat history. 

    He was an elite dunker, but never lived up to the high expectations the Heat had for him. Still, that didn't change the fact he won the dunk contest twice in his career and had through-the-roof hops. 

    Miner's vertical was ridiculous and his ability to just get up was scary, as evidenced in his 1993 and 1995 contest-winning jams.

    Check out his 1993 slam dunk contest highlights.  

2. LeBron James

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    I can already see the comments flooding in. No, I'm not suggesting that (spoiler alert) Dwyane Wade is a better dunker than LeBron James.

    I'm simply saying LeBron James dunk display from 2003-2010 is property of the Cleveland Cavaliers. A large portion of the King's memorable slams were in Cleveland, so it's hard to say he's the most prolific dunker in Heat history.

    However, it shouldn't go unsaid that James has thrown down some of the illest jams that South Beach has ever seen.

    In just two short years with the Heat, LeBron has become the team's first-ever MVP winner, as well as bringing the franchise its second ring. 

    In that time, he has thrown down some rim-rattling slams that have resonated in the Heat history books. 

    James natural strength allows him to throw down such thunderous slams that even typical one-handed dunks are majorly enhanced by his sheer power. 

    He also benefited from having great chemistry with his wing mate, D-Wade, who has stellar passing abilities and a knack for finding LeBron in the open court. 

    LeBron's highly publicized dunk over (literally over) John Lucas III last year is probably his signature dunk in a Heat uniform. 

    As of now, I think LeBron is the second-best dunker in Heat history if you compare his two years with the team compared to Wade's nine years. Either way, James is a human highlight reel who has posted some of the fiercest dunks in Miami history.

    One of his top non-Heat throw downs include this one over Damon Jones. Check out this top 10 reel as well. 

1. Dwyane Wade

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    No surprise here.

    Dwyane Wade is the best dunker in Miami Heat history.

    Wade has spent his entire nine-year career with the Heat after being drafted by Miami with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 draft.

    From the start of his rookie season, Wade dazzled and entertained the Heat fanbase with his unparalleled athletic ability.

    After the franchise went through a rebuilding process, Wade brought excitement, wonder and allure back to Miami. 

    Wade was the quickest, fastest, most athletic and game-changing player the Heat franchise had ever witnessed. 

    From his eye-opening dunk over then All-Star Jermaine O'Neal in his sophomore season to his facial over Anderson Varejao, Wade has thrown down the filthiest dunks in team history. 

    Wade had a specialty for posterizing dunks, and he caused a lot of posters in his younger days.

    While Wade's astronomic dunks have decreased in recent years as he has aged, he still has an amazing ability to get to the rim. His basketball IQ and still-solid athletic ability make him a top-10 threat any night of the week.

    I expect will see a few more signature Wade dunks before his game completely transitions away from being a high flyer. 

    You can't miss Wade's crushing slams over Kendrick Perkins, Jermaine O'Neal or Kevin Garnett