Top Ten Dunkers Of All Time

Curly Morris@@Barton_FunkAnalyst IAugust 28, 2008

Slamfest: Let the arguments begin...

#10 Clyde Drexler

Unfortunately for Drexler, most of his better dunks came while a member of the University of Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma squad. Drexler is most known for his gliding ability on the fast break which of course is how he got his moniker "The Glyde." What Drexler is not known for is posterizing players at game time which is why even though he was great at soaring he just barely cracks the top ten.


#9 David Thompson

You know that a guy has hops when most people have never seen him dunk and still rank him on their top ten lists. Unlike Julius Erving, Thompson never garnered much post-ABA adulation. There is a rumor that Thompson once snatched a dollar bill off the top of the backboard. Although I've never seen the clip, having spent a lot of time in ACC country (Thompson played college ball at N.C. State) I've seen enough highlights to know that he probably could've done it.

#8 Spud Webb

When you are 5'7" tall and can do a 360 degree dunk you are supposed to get more credit than Webb has received. Webb was also a very good basketball player and he, along with Mugsy Bogues paved the way for many players under six feet to get legitimate shots at making NBA rosters.

If Webb had played in today's 'hands-off' defense NBA we would've gotten many more highlights. But his body of work, coupled with his size should place him on everyone's top ten list, period.

#7 Jason Richardson

How can a two-time Slam Dunk Champion (should be THREE time champion) not make everyone's list? Only four players have won the contest twice and three of them are on my list. Richardson has the body of work over his brief career to justify his making the list, especially because he has quite a few facials and alley-oops, prerequisites for being a truly great dunker.

#6 Julius Erving

While it may seem blasphemous to have Dr. J not cracking the top five, you have to understand that it's not his fault that he spawned generations who aspired to be like him or better. Erving was THE trendsetter and his infamous pound over Michael Cooper will be forever regarded as one of the sweetest jams ever.

Unfortunately for Erving, that dunk set off a frenzy among leapers to outdo the Doc and as you can see five players have managed to do just that.

#5 Shawn Kemp

For me, numbers five through two could be arranged in almost any order and you might not get too much of an argument.

Kemp had rise that was unbelievable for a man of his size. While guys like Darryl Dawkins Larry Nance, and Connie Hawkins, were all big men who could soar, Kemp could get the same moves into a dunk that players six to ten inches shorter than him could accomplish. The sheer power that Kemp displayed when he dunked was a marvel to watch. To hell with a dunk contest, Kemp could break your arm in a game!

#4 Kobe Bryant

Kobe is actually underrated in most people's top ten list. It's part of "hate" that Kobe gets from people on a regular basis, but if you look at the list of KB 24 victims of posterization they include Yao Ming, Ben Wallace, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan and too many other so called "great defenders" to mention. The only reason that Kobe is not number one is because if you really want to do a list with a a top ten, you can't have a #1 - #1a - #1b and #1c.

#3 Michael Jordan

While Julius Erving brought the dunk to another level, Jordan revolutionized it. Jordan helped create what I consider the most important aspect of anyone making a top ten list and that is the "in-game" slam in your mouth. Jordan invented "posterizing" and while Erving made everyone ooh and ahh, Jordan made everyone say daaaaaaammmmmmnnnn!

His infamous dunk on Ewing, Starks, and Oakley is still the standard for posterizing. When you abuse three players who were all-stars on their home court, in the middle of a heated contest, it's obvious you are the chosen one.

#2 Dominique Wilkins

Nique' was like Jordan and Kemp rolled into one. He had the size and strength to take your arm off and he also had the finesse to weave his way through traffic or beat you down court on the break.

Before the guy who is number one on this list came along, Wilkins was the one player who there really was no chance of stopping if he really wanted to jam one in your grill.

The most frightening thing about Wilkins was his ability to soar over people who were patiently waiting for a rebound and cuff one over all of them.

#1 Vince Carter

There have been players who no team could stop if they really wanted to score (Jordan, Kobe, Bernard King, Larry Bird, and a few others), but in my opinion there have only been two players who no team could stop from dunking whenever they wanted to.

One was Dominique Wilkins and the other is Vinsanity. I do not understand how this guy is not number one on everybody's list.

People like to talk about his jumping over seven-foot-tall Fredrick Weiss but to me that barely ranks in Carter's top twenty dunks. Carter can complete the 360 with ease and finish with either hand (or both) from either side of the floor, and all this in game time action.

To further explain my point you need to watch the clip of Carter's game-winning slam on the Rockets during the 1999-00 season. What you will see is Carter, 26 feet from the basket, holding on to the ball as the clock counts down from ten.

There is no less than 80 million dollars of Houston payroll standing around watching him watch the clock before, with less than five seconds remaining, he takes two power dribbles and as Stuart Scott would say —BOOYAH —game, set, match.

That is the essence of Carter's talent: the fact that he is so physically gifted that if he wanted to he could dunk on every possession and there is nobody in the league past or present that could stop him.

While other players have a top ten dunk list, Carter needs a top thirty just to fathom the type of dunker he was/is. Just like 007, "Nobody Does It Better."

Honorable mentions:

LeBron James: Of course of the "young bucks" want to see LeBron on this list, but he's not there yet. He has some great dunks in his short career, but while he exhibits great power and finesse, he lacks style and definately doesn't have as many "signature" moments as anyone on this list.

Darryl Dawkins: With a name like Chocholate Thunder you'd figure he'd be a shoo in, but come on, whose place does he take on this top ten?

Gerald Green: Young pup with no classic moments in the league.

Tom Chambers: One great dunk does not make you a top ten candidate.

Kevin Johnson: His pound on Hakeem was one of the greatest, but not enough to crack the top ten.

Josh Smith: The future of the funk...maybe.

Andre Igudola: It's an ALL Time list...give me a break.

Tracy McGrady: Man...T Mac is a beast, when he's on the floor, but that's the problem.


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