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The Top 5 Dunkers on the Planet

By 10.29.10

Josh Smith (photo. adidas)


This is the elite class. Finding a way to rank the Top 25 dunkers in the world that will please everyone is obviously impossible, as everyone has their own criteria and their own biases. For example, some don’t think the “circus act” types like Mr. 720 and Guy Dupuy deserve a spot among NBA guys like Dwight Howard and LeBron, whereas others feel if you go purely on dunking skill, hardly anyone in the NBA qualifies when there are people who make dunking their livelihood.

But even with all the different ways of looking at it, you can’t deny that the five dunkers listed below are among the best in the world today. They’ve blended hops, power, in-air creativity, personal style and intangible swagger to become legends — at least on YouTube. The top five…

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5. ANDRE IGUODALA (Philadelphia 76ers)
Probable cause: Top-5 athlete in the League has the whole package when it comes to dunking, and does it against the best competition in the world.
Reasonable doubt: Maybe the greatest dunker to never win an NBA dunk contest.
Physical evidence:

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4. JAMES WHITE (Spartak Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Probable cause: Master of the free-throw line dunk, “Flight” can go between his legs and two-hand from the line.
Reasonable doubt: Known as a contest dunker, but he’s lost on two of the biggest stages, to David Lee at the McDonald’s H.S. All-American showcase, and as an NCAA senior in ’06.
Physical evidence:

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3. JOSH SMITH (Atlanta Hawks)
Probable cause: 2005 NBA dunk contest winner, routinely pulls off contest-worthy windmills in games. Has dunked on an All-Star ballot’s worth of NBA stars.
Reasonable doubt: His arsenal of windmills and tomahawks can become a little redundant, much like another former Atlanta Hawks high-flyer named ‘Nique.
Physical evidence:

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2. TERRELL COURNOYEA (Team Flight Brothers)
Probable cause: At 5-foot-9, “T-Dub” does things many 6-6 NBA athletes can’t do. His hops seem almost uncontrollable.
Reasonable doubt: Can he play?
Physical evidence:

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1. JUSTIN DARLINGTON (Team Flight Brothers)
Probable cause: “Jus Fly” won what may have been the greatest dunk contest ever put on. The professional contest dunker is a true original in an art form that needs creativity.
Reasonable doubt: Again, can he play?
Physical evidence:

What does your list of Top 25 dunkers look like?

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #6-10

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #11-15

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #16-20

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #21-25


TAGSANDRE IGUODALADimeMagJames WhiteJOSH SMITHJustin DarlingtonTerrell Cournoyea

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