Amar'e Stoudemire and the 10 Most Ferocious Dunkers in New York Knicks History
I can't call an Elias Sports Bureau statistician to confirm this, but the New York Knicks have been on the wrong end of the most ferocious dunks in NBA history, both in quality and quantity.
Michael Jordan's dunk over Patrick Ewing in the 1991 playoffs is considered by some to be the best in NBA history,.
Tom Chambers and his blonde mullet literally kneed Mark Jackson in the face en route to dunking over him in 1989.
Blake Griffin's "dunk" over Timofey Mozgov is already the play of the season.
Regardless, the Knicks have had some ferocious dunkers on their own team, thankfully. Here are the 10 best.
Note: This isn't a listing of the best dunkers in team history, though for the record, Kenny "Sky" Walker is No. 1 in that department and it's not even close. This is a listing of power dunkers, guys who could throw down with authority, bring down Madison Square Garden and change the momentum of a game. Bonus points go to players with historically significant dunks.
Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, Larry Johnson, David Lee
Oakley and Mason put down some ferocious dunks, but they were more known for being Patrick Ewing's henchmen than anything.
Larry Johnson on the Charlotte Hornets was an excellent dunker and brilliant Shakespearean actor (Space Jam).
Larry Johnson on the New York Knicks was most famous for his philandering, jump shooting and authoring one of the five most memorable plays in team history (the four-point play against Indiana in the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals).
David Lee threw down some nasty dunks off pick and rolls during his time in New York, but he is perhaps most famous for his self alley-oop against Golden State. He just misses the cut.
Now, with video evidence, the top 10 dunkers.
25,879: Frederic Weis
I can't make a list of the 10 most ferocious dunkers in Knicks history without including video of the most ferocious dunk in basketball history, since a man drafted by the Knicks was on the receiving end.
If I was Frederic Weis when that happened, I would have walked off the court, hitched a ride to the Sydney Airport, listened to the rest of the game on the radio, gotten a plane ticket, flown back to France, built myself a rural commune, gotten off the grid, lived off the land and never spoken to anyone, ever, again.
10. Trevor Ariza
Knicks fans may forget, but Ariza was a beacon of light in the black hole that was this past decade of New York basketball. He had some incredible dunks, and I thought he was going to be a superstar before Isiah Thomas traded him for Steve Francis and his exorbitant contract in 2006.
Here, Ariza is seen destroying Ben Wallace's soul.
9. Latrell Sprewell
Between choking P.J. Carlesimo and complaining about $21 million not being enough to feed his family, Latrell Sprewell actually led a successful mini era with the Knicks between 1998-200—the buffer period between the Patrick Ewing era and the Knicks' Dark Ages.
He was a deft shooter from deep, but Sprewell made some hellacious dunks, perhaps none more impressive than this one against the Spurs in the 1999 Finals.
8. Bernard King
Bernard King had one of the three greatest dunks in Knicks history (you'll see highlights of the other two soon) but he wasn't really known for his dunks so much as chipping away at the will of his defender through a varied array of baby jumpers and post-up moves.
Plus, when he dunked, King wasn't trying to electrify the crowd or show up a defender with a power slam—he just wanted two more points.
Still, he put the nail in the coffin of one of the greatest playoff series of all time in 1984 against Detroit with a put-back dunk you'll see above. For that alone, he makes the list.
7. Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson was a favorite among fans but a coach's worst nightmare. He threw down some fascinating dunks that wowed the MSG crowd simply because of the little man's stature, but he is also a symbol for some terrible Knicks teams.
Robinson won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2006, 2009 and 2010, finishing second in 2007. His most famous slam occurred when he jumped over Dwight "Superman" Howard dressed in a super hero costume under the persona, "KryptoNATE".
6. Kenny Walker
Walker was picked fifth by the Knicks in the 1986 NBA Draft but never really panned out. He won the 1989 NBA Slam Dunk Contest with some gravity-defying, double-pump slams, beating out Clyde Drexler and 1986 Contest winner Spud Webb.
If he lasted longer with the Knicks and played more minutes, he'd be higher on this list, but he was largely a backup for five seasons in the blue and orange.
5. Wilson Chandler
Like Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson Chandler speaks softly but carries a big stick. Perhaps because Chandler is quiet and reserved on and off-the- court, his dunks seem to bring an added burst of energy.
He is the author of two of the Knicks' best dunks this season, a reverse slam over JaVale McGee and a fast-break dunk against the Heat in December, seen here.
Chandler is ninth in the NBA in most dunks among non-power forwards and centers, and 30th overall.
4. John Starks
Ponder all the famous dunks and dunkers in NBA history right now. If there was one person who you thought to be the perpetrator of a play called, "The Dunk", you would pick Michael Jordan, Dr. J, David Thompson or someone of that ilk, right?
Wrong. John Starks lays claim to that fame. If he shot lay-ups for the rest of his career, and still made that dunk over Horace Grant and Michael Jordan, he'd make this list.
3. Gerald Wilkins
The younger brother of Dominique Wilkins needs to find a spot here.
As great as "The Dunk" was, Gerald Wilkins' dunk over Michael Jordan here was more impressive (game situation notwithstanding). He participated in the 1986 and 1987 Dunk Contests and was a notorious high-flyer. Drafted out of Chattanooga in 1985 in the second round, Wilkins played seven productive seasons for the Knicks.
2. Amar'e Stoudemire
I'm making this pick based on potential alone. Stoudemire has at least five years of ferocious dunks ahead of him, and could even challenge Patrick Ewing for all-time supremacy.
What individual play today is better than seeing Stoudemire come off a pick and roll and throw down a tomahawk slam down on an unsuspecting big man? He's currently fifth in dunks this season in the NBA.
1. Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing may not have the most famous dunk in Knicks history, but he certainly made the most important one.
With the Knicks down 90-89 against Indiana in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, John Starks missed a lay-up with under 30 seconds left, but Ewing was in perfect position for a rebound slam. Starks made up for his transgressions with some free throw makes to seal the game.
What makes Ewing so special is that this dunk was just one of many ferocious and clutch slams he had in his 15-year career at the Garden.
It's not even up for debate and argument: Ewing is easily the most ferocious dunker in Knicks history.