5 Most Amazing Dunkers in Memphis Grizzlies History
The Memphis Grizzlies might have a short history—as the franchise enters its 18th season—but the Grizz have had some great dunkers. Highlight-reel dunks outnumber wins for some teams. That’s true for the team that holds the second-worst franchise winning percentage in the NBA.
The current incarnation of the Grizzlies has provided plenty of opportunities for fans to see amazing dunks. The “Grindhouse” thrives off steals to get buckets in transition. On that front, Rudy Gay and Tony Allen happily fly to the basket to punch it in.
The Grizzlies have had a number of entertaining dunkers, from Shareef Abdur-Rahim to Gay. Follow along to see which have been the most entertaining arena rockers in franchise history.
5. Bryant Reeves
The legend of "Big Country" lives.
Bryant Reeves was a fan favorite in Vancouver and has continued to be a part of Grizzlies lore, even though the Grizzlies now have a center who is actually good.
Now, Reeves did have one redeemable aspect of his game that persisted for most of his career: The seven-footer was a rock-solid dunker. He could throw it down hard. He squared up and drove hard to the rim, ram-rodding the ball in the face of some helpless defender.
What else can a hulking big man do?
Reeves let the ball come to him. When it did, he knew how to edge in and slam it home.
4. Marc Gasol
Tony Allen likes to call Marc Gasol “Big Spain.” When Grizzlies fans see him throw it down, they have to wonder if the big country on the Iberian Peninsula is shaking thousands of miles away.
At the very least, Gasol shakes the FedEx Forum when he slams it home. Gasol is a powerful presence around the rim. He throws his weight around in a way that not many other players can. He can either back defenders down hard or face them up and drive it on them and jam.
The 2012 Spanish Olympian sends his dunks down with such authority that Spanish King Juan Carlos might wish it would help quell protests.
The Commercial Appeal reported that Gasol is working to be more aggressive with the ball. Perhaps that means he’ll be roaring at the rim more often.
3. Shareef Abdur-Rahim
Shareef Abdur-Rahim gave the early Grizz fans in Vancouver something to cheer for when he stuck his nose around the rim. This faithful bunch couldn’t help but recognize the electricity Abdur-Rahim brought when he dunked.
Abdur-Rahim did just what any strong dunker should do: The California product flashed to the basket quickly. He stepped dastardly around defenders. Not only did he go up explosively, but he brought his arms around the rim so rapidly that opponents couldn’t respond.
Abdur-Rahim also had the length and strength he needed to make himself tough to stop at the rim.
Grizz fans are surely upset that he couldn’t have stayed with the team longer. His jams would have been appreciated even more on one of Memphis’ playoff teams.
2. Hakim Warrick
Hakim Warrick hasn't had an impressive career. However, he has had a special portfolio of dunks amidst his ordinary play. Warrick, who has spent much of his career hanging around the rim (and hanging on it, like in this video), has four 80-dunk seasons.
Warrick started his rim-centric career with the Grizzlies. As a rookie, he placed third in the Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend. That instantly gained the midlevel player a spot in the lore of the young franchise. Both of his 100-dunk seasons came in a Grizzlies uniform.
Warrick bounces toward the basket and then explodes up to the rim. His eyes move hungrily to the hoop, sparking his desire to drive to the basket.
When he did that in Memphis, Grizzlies fans couldn't help but feel their hearts leap.
1. Rudy Gay
Gay is one of the most fantastic playmakers in the game. He jumps out in transition and fluidly takes the pass before going up for the jam. Gay, who competed in the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest, goes wire-to-wire to slam it home. When he drives off the dribble from the wing, he rises up gracefully to put it down.
As much as the Connecticut product dunks, he does a fair amount to please finicky fans. Granted, Grizzlies fans might like him to do it a little bit more while scoring a few more points per game.