Top Dunks of The 08-09 Season

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IApril 17, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 12:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks over Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 12, 2008 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Cavaliers won 88-77.  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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The 2008-2009 NBA season has been filled with memorable plays, buzzer beaters, assists, blow-outs, upsets and finally, the dunk.

What defines a dunk?

Basketball To slam (a ball) through the basket from above- Taken from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dunk  

The slam dunk was known in the past as a dunk shot. During a game, legendary Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn brought to life to what is now called a slam dunk, or dunk.

The dunks this season that have been performed have been breathtaking and meaningful. With so many amazing dunks this year, it has been hard to cut down to what I think are the best dunks of the 2008-2009 NBA regular season. These are the dunks that I believe are deserved to be noticed, in no particular order.

Kenyon Martin 

During a game against the Golden State Warriors in Denver, Kenyon Martin showed shades of his former self when he received a baseline pass from Allen Iverson and went on to posterize Rob Kurtz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkuMOLFfM3U

Ailing knee problems have hurt Kenyon for the majority of his career. Having two micro-fracture surgeries on both his left and right knee impacted on his jumping abilities as well as his mental "wreck the rim" mentality. Kenyon is looking to get his reputation back as one of the most monstrous dunkers in the game today

This dunk just happened 15 minutes ago in Portland (8:43 P.M. Pacific). Carmelo, running down the court, receives a pass and jacks up a contested three hits, and while it's about to hit the rim, Kenyon Martin soars for it and has a monster put-back jam with one hand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTYemi3geQ0

In the dying seconds of the first quarter, a close game Kenyon tried to give his team some spark going into the second, but to no avail, as the Nuggets are currently down 53-34.

Andre Iguodala

During a 16-2 run by the Philadelphia 76ers at the world's most famous stadium, Madison Square Garden, Andre Iguodala, off a turnover, got the ball and went in for the famous "rock the baby" jam-a-rama dunk-o-rama.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-vAWWYaaAU

With the Sixers coming off a win in Washington (which is a given), they were on a four-game losing streak. Andre was trying to put this team back on track in the win column, and a fastbreak opportunity was perfect for Andre to flush the ball down the rim and put the Knicks on notice that nothing will be stopping the Sixers and himself from winning this game. 

Josh Smith

Dec. 17, 2008 was a nail biter of a game in which the Celtics overcame the Hawks in Atlanta. Before that conclusion, though, Al Horford, who missed a 16-to-17-footer, went long into Marvin Williams' hand, who then dropped it off to Josh Smith in the post. Smith dribbled it out, but lost it in the traffic; however, Williams recovered, sending it back out to Smith.

With Perkins on Josh, he decided to take it to the rack for a left-handed jam on the block attempt by Perkins. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp1KSMFNjWc&feature=related

Smith, getting irritated at the lack of no calls on him and his team, decided not to go for another jumpshot and take it in instead. Just like my good friend Mark Jackson said, instead of getting mad at the ref and possibly receiving a technical, take it to the rack, send one down in King-Kong style, and take the anger out on that—and look, he got a call.

Pau Gasol-Kobe Bryant

With the game tied 12-12 against the Detroit Pistons, Pau Gasol decided to rev up the crowd with an alley-oop to Kobe Bryant, which he sort of miscalculated the throw, but hey, Kobe still got it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGPCr8yAzp8

What does this dunk mean? What does it represent?

Pau Gasol.

I don't think I have ever seen a big man like Gasol throw alley-oops from the three-point line. I don't think I see big men throwing alley-oops; they're usually on the receiving end. Pau dribbles down the court—point guard style. C'mon, who is this guy? Not only had that, but Kobe had to run off a ladder to get that one.

Grant Hill

On the verge of retirement, Grant Hill showed shades of the young Grant Hill, before he was hampered with injuries. Nash drove in and found an open Hill in the corner, who swept and then cut into the lane going left and made a poster for years to come. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4rDKzE9fZw&feature=channel_page

That dunk was a statement. Grant was playing for his team's playoff lives. Not only that, but it showed that Hill has some gas left in the tank for, maybe, a couple more years to pursue that coveted Larry O'Brien trophy.

Dwanye Wade

In a game against the Charlotte Bobcats at home, Richardson took a 17-footer, which went to the left in and culminated in Wade pulling down the rebound. Wade, then running up the court, split two defenders and threw down the jam on a oncoming Okafor for his next poster—to hit newspaper stands April 18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSpvx6Gvzc8

With the heat down two points with about four minutes to play, Wade decided to take the game over once again, igniting the crowd.

It was a statement to Emeka: your shot blocking abilities are not going to stop me.  Likewise, it was also a message to the media who place the MVP votes.

Dwight Howard

It was the game in which New Orleans was dominating early on. With the ball in Hedo Turkoglu's hand, Howard and himself did their patented alley-oops, with Dwight finishing with a reverse over Hilton Armstrong and CP3 running in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMH4wDJfkOQ

The Hornets where dominating 17-6 and were up by 11. With the Hornets holding the Magic to 2-6 shooting, going inside to Howard was a great choice. Not only did that make it special, he did it in reverse style over Hilton Armstrong and Paul, who came and committed the foul.

Lebron James

Now these two are in order, as I believe that the last one should be the Dunk of the Year in my opinion.


The amount of dunks Lebron james executed on the Raptors and almost set them extinct.

Though one of the seven really stands out.

Lebron on a fast break miles away from anybody else blows by for a Karl Malone-type of jam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idSUEs1XKVk

Paying homage to the Mailman, Lebron once again ceases to amaze us by putting his hand behind his head. That shows how much confidence is oozing out of Lebron, and if  you look closely, the figure looks like a seven.

This one is from a game against the Hawks at home. Lebron, off the dribble, takes it to the rack with two Hawks on him and finishes with the left-hand plus the call. That is called some really good body. Icing the the cake is what defines this dunk. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3EMyXNpIDY&feature=related

Like I said above, great body control allows him to do all of that and finish with the left hand. This man is a physical specimen, and I cannot wait until he enters the 2010 Dunk contest in Dallas.

Those are my top dunks of 2008-2009 season.


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