Nothing gets us going in the Dime offices like a good ol’ fashioned debate, and the best debates are the ones that get heated. Trying to rate the best dunkers in the league is unanimously impossible. Do you want style? Force? Does a big man get points taken away? If a player is an epic dunker in warm-ups, does that count?
Back in the day, we had Vince Carter and there was no denying what type of dunker he was. But in the current NBA, outside of perhaps one or two guys, you could make a case for anyone.
Gerald Green jumps REALLY high. DeAndre Jordan dunks all the time. Shannon Brown is only 6-3 and yet is always packing a nice highlight. We’ve heard them all. Now, as we’ve done in the past, we took a shot: Who are the 20 best dunkers in the NBA?
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20. SHANNON BROWN
Two years ago one of the biggest fan movements in the NBA was the “Let Shannon Dunk” campaign. Brown was putting on dazzling in-game dunking exhibitions ever night for the Los Angeles Lakers and was pre-crowned the automatic winner of the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest. For some reason, Brown couldn’t live up to the hype and was one of the worst slam dunk competitors the competition has ever seen.
The 2010 Dunk Contest proved that Brown is more of an in-game dunker than a competition dunker. But with his hops and athleticism that’s not a bad thing, as despite a change of scenery, his high flying dunking ways have continued with the Phoenix Suns.
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19. KEVIN DURANT
It makes sense that one of the best scorers in the league is also one of the best dunkers in the game. At 6-9, with a wingspan of 7-5, getting to the rim is one of Durant’s specialties. Brendan Haywood, Roy Hibbert, Al Harrington and DeJuan Blair have all been on the receiving end of his thunderous dunks.
For Durant, dunking is nothing more than an opportunity to score in a different way; it’s just another weapon in his deadly arsenal.
18. JEREMY EVANS
As we touched on back in January, similar to Shannon Brown, there was a large fan campaign to get Jeremy Evans and his pogo stick hops into the dunk contest. The #LetJeremyDunk campaign was successful and helped introduced the world to the dunking phenom that is Jeremy Evans.
Overall, the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest was pretty weak and too gimmicky, but the two ball dunk over Gordon Hayward by Evans has to be one of the better dunks in dunk contest history.
17. DEANDRE JORDAN
DeAndre Jordan is known for doing only two things on the court: blocking shots and dunking. Part of the Lob City crew on the Los Angeles Clippers, Jordan has delivered some nasty dunks in his four-year career, adding flair to his dunks that most big men are not usually able to do. The scary thing about Jordan is that he is only 23 years old and is still learning how to properly use his size and athleticism. If you think his dunks are wild right now, just wait ’till he actually learns how to dunk from the post and off the dribble.
16. JOSH SMITH
Josh Smith has slowly been developing into one of the best all-around players in the game but the 2005 Slam Dunk Contest winner is one of the most underrated dunkers in the game. Joe Johnson may get the All-Star appearances and the bulk of the spotlight but Josh Smith is the heart and soul of the Atlanta Hawks as nothing gets the “Highlight Factory” in Atlanta rocking like a dunk from Smith. Just ask Serge Ibaka about it.
15. J.R. SMITH
What makes J.R. a top-15 dunker is his never-ending enjoyment from making a foe look bad. Being able to drop a “Got ’em” moment means he’ll attack where others won’t, which can lead to some huge dunks. His dunk on Gary Neal â€” full body extension, almost more Superman than Dwight â€” is in a top-five rotation from the 2010-11 season. While he’s more content to hoist threes on his return from China, he can uncoil a hammer as quick as any two in the league.