Indiana Pacers: Top 5 Dunkers in Pacers History

Ryan Reed@@rareedBRCorrespondent IIOctober 25, 2012

Indiana Pacers: Top 5 Dunkers in Pacers History

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    The Indiana Pacers are going to be a high-flying bunch this season with both Paul George and the recent acquisition of Gerald Green.

    While fans are going to be concentrating on the Pacers' continued growth and success, dunks certainly bring a little bit of extra fun to the game.

    These Indiana players, however, weren't the first to electrify the crowds with their above-the-rim antics.

    So who have been the Pacers' best dunkers throughout history? Keep reading and you'll find out.

Honorable Mention: Gerald Green

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    Gerald Green is one of the most sensational dunkers that the game has right now.

    The 6'8" swingman won the 2007 Slam Dunk Contest and has continued to wow throughout his short tenures with several different teams.

    Unfortunately, Green can't quite make the top five dunkers in Indiana's history because he hasn't played any regular-season minutes as a Pacer. Still, he has already made his mark in the preseason, including a massive jam over Cavaliers forward Omri Casspi.

    Pacers fans can look forward to a season full of highlight-reel material to go along with solid play from Gerald Green; I know I am.

5. Jonathon Bender

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    Coming in at No. 5 is Jonathan Bender, who played for the Pacers between 1999 and 2006.

    Bender is one of only five Pacers to participate in the NBA Dunk Contest, coming in fourth in 2001 after missing out on the final round by one point.

    Despite that, Bender proved to be quite the dunker, throwing down highlight material from his high school days on.

    While he was never able to live up to the expectations of a No. 5 pick, the 7'0" forward has made his name through his dunking abilities. That should make the Pacers feel a little better after he only started 27 games in seven seasons with Indiana.

4. Antonio Davis

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    Antonio Davis is the second on this list of just five Pacers who have competed in the NBA Dunk Contest, coming in fourth place in 1994.

    Davis had a good NBA career, averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds over 13 seasons, including averages of 13.7 points and 10.1 rebounds in '00-'01.

    Still, he can be best remembered for a few signature dunks, including a slam over Kenny Davis and two other members of the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, Antonio was also on the receiving end of quite a few power dunks, including one memorable jam by Shaq.

    Antonio Davis may have not made his mark as a full-time starter until after his Pacers days, but he sure gave Indiana a few memorable moments.

3. Terence Stansbury

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    Terence Stansbury is one of the lesser-known names in Pacers history, only playing two seasons in Indiana and three in the NBA.

    In his short time, however, Stansbury was able to make quite the name for himself as a dunker by competing in three of the best Slam Dunk Contests in NBA history.

    From 1985-1987, Stansbury placed third in the Dunk Contest, following up Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan and Spud Webb. In the first round of the 1987 Dunk Contest, when he was no longer with the Pacers, Terence managed to score a 99, beating out both Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler. He also beat out the Doctor, Julius Erving, in the 1985 contest.

    While Terence Stansbury wasn't able to make enough of a name for himself in the regular season, he found plenty of fame by competing with the best in the NBA Dunk Contest.

2. Paul George

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    Paul George very well maybe be the future of the Indiana Pacers, which bodes well for fans of high-flying dunks.

    George made his presence known to the NBA with a few amazing dunks, including a 360° slam with only glow-in-the-dark strips on his jersey to guide him through a lightless arena during the 2012 NBA Dunk Contest.

    More recently, Paul was able to add to his growing dunking legacy with a through-the-legs 360° jam on a recent tour of Shanghai. He also dunked over 7'2" teammate Roy Hibbert in the dunk contest.

    The good news is that George, unlike most of the players on this list, will give the Pacers a lot on the basketball court. He should be an fan favorite as well as a star in the NBA for years to come.

1. Fred Jones

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    Finally, the only Indiana Pacer who has won an NBA Dunk Contest.

    In doing so he beat out Chris Andersen, Ricky Davi, and the reigning champion Jason Richardson. For reference, Davis was just referred as the third-best dunker in Celtics history in an article by Bleacher Report's own Matthew Schmidt.

    More than anything, Jones was a powerful dunker. He dunked in traffic, over big men and in transition, including a few big plays over the likes of Ben Wallace.

    What makes this more impressive is that Jones was only 6'2". Still, he managed to carve out a successful career with the Pacers before beginning a journeyman career with four teams in four seasons.

    Fred Jones will be remembered as one of the most spectacular dunkers in Indiana history, as well as the only Pacer to win a Dunk Contest. At least until Paul George hopefully takes the title!


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