Better Dunk: DeAndre Jordan or LeBron James?

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts from the bench to a Clipper score during a 96-83 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

DeAndre Jordan and LeBron James have put up two of the best dunks of the year, sparking a debate over who had the better throw-down, both dunks having their superior qualities.

As two of the NBA's most recent posterizations, they absolutely shut Twitter down with reactions ranging from completely stunned to absolutely over the top.

Jordan's dunk on Brandon Knight was the stuff of legends, easily a candidate for dunk of the year as soon as everyone had quieted down. LeBron's slam came just a few days later. Everyone realizing how insane this year has been for putting guys on posters.

Between these two, DeMar DeRozan smashing on Timofey Mozgov and Harrison Barnes' massive throw-down on Nikola Pekovic, it's become The Year of the Poster.

Before we break the pair of them down, let's go ahead and take a bit of a refresher course to get a look at the pair of them.



Both players are well known for their athleticism, so differentiating between the more athletic play here is going to be a bit of a challenge.

LeBron leaped with his plant foot just below the dotted free-throw circle, taking off from one foot, getting about eye-level with the rim in the process.

Jordan's leap comes with his back foot right about where LeBron took off from and his front foot a few feet behind the restricted circle.

His jump isn't a full sprint and leap, however. Jordan had to plant beforehand in anticipation of the pass from Chris Paul, slowing down his momentum. The hit he takes is a bit harder than the one LeBron gets from Terry, so Jordan has to adjust and lean forward slightly in order to stretch out for the dunk.

In the end, they seem about even in the athleticism category.



Both dunks are made better by the amount of teamwork involved.

On the surface it definitely seems as if LeBron's dunk is more team oriented. Not only does it need the steal from Dwyane Wade, but also there's a pass from Mario Chalmers to Norris Cole, and then the subsequent alley-oop to LeBron. That's three smooth, perfect passes in a row.

However, the amount of chemistry built up to pull off the lob from Chris Paul to Jordan makes it seem just as impressive.

The glob of picks set by Lamar Odom and Jordan leads to Paul getting loose to the right, and as soon as Jordan bounces out, he starts sprinting to the hole. Paul realizes and promptly sends a bullet up to Jordan. If it's not a pre-designed play, then it's even more impressive. 

While Paul and Jordan show off some refined teamwork, the amount of players involved in the Miami 'oop seems more impressive.


Twitter Reaction

I'm going to go ahead and give it to you right off the bat, DeAndre Jordan's dunk was one of the single most important Twitter events of the year. LeBron's was tweet grabbing, but Jordan's was tweet engulfing.

Brandon Knight was a good man.

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) March 11, 2013


and here it is. Twitter is so reliable sometimes RT “…

— J.A. Adande (@jadande) March 11, 2013


If you are a friend of Brandon Knight, please don't let him near a TV, Phone, Computer until at least Wednesday.

— Robert Littal (@BlkSportsOnline) March 11, 2013

LeBron's dunk was a good time for all, but it didn't enchant people nearly as much as Jordan's.

The Jet has crash landed!

— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) March 19, 2013


If you dunk on someone like that, no taunting rules should apply.

— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) March 19, 2013


Courtney Lee ran in there like a paramedic

— J.A. Adande (@jadande) March 19, 2013

Jordan gets the victory in this one.


Attempted Defense

Whenever you've got a full-on posterization to dissect, one of the most important things to take a look at is who is getting dunked over and what kind of attempt they're making to save face.

Thankfully for this example, we've got two enormous dudes dunking through two smaller, weaker guards, so there's no variation in player size to take into account.

When Terry is defending here, he's got three players to keep an eye on. He gets turned around so many times with the passes that he has no other option but to step up and meekly crumble under LeBron.

Brandon Knight steps up, leaps with everything he's got and hits Jordan in mid-air. He gives every bit of muscle to try to slow him down, get him to drop the ball, anything.

It was a valiant attempt by both to simply stay in the lane, but it's Knight's defense that makes Jordan's dunk look more difficult.



Given that we're dealing with two extremely athletic players on two very visible teams, Jordan and LeBron's dunks seem almost even.

However, factoring in the explosive reaction of the social media world and the attempt at defense by Knight, the thumbs-up has to go to DeAndre Jordan's mega-slam.

It was rim-shaking, world stopping and night ruining for Brandon Knight, while the rest of us stared with jaws on the ground.

If we switched the two players and had them go up to try and complete the other's dunk they would have no problem, it just happened to fall this way.

Congratulations to Jordan.

H gets the nod over LeBron in this one. Now he's just got Harrison Barnes' dunk over Nikola Pekovic to compete with for dunk of the year.


    Steph Scolded by Mom for Outburst 😂

    NBA logo

    Steph Scolded by Mom for Outburst 😂

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    Steph Got His Groove Back 💦

    NBA logo

    Steph Got His Groove Back 💦

    Will Gottlieb
    via Bleacher Report

    The Hell of Being Heckled in the NBA

    NBA logo

    The Hell of Being Heckled in the NBA

    Dave Schilling
    via Bleacher Report

    Free Agents Who Need a Change of Scenery

    NBA logo

    Free Agents Who Need a Change of Scenery

    Zach Buckley
    via Bleacher Report