Since Grantland did their oral history of the iconic Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson streetball buddy comedy, White Men Can’t Jump, we thought there were exceptions to stereotype. So we wanted to give credit to those white guys with some ups. Regardless of Woody Harrelson’s aw shucks playground hustle, the man is not a beacon for white athleticism.
Fortunately, throughout the course of NBA history – and more specifically, the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest -there have been a few white guys with enough hops to get invited to the annual contest over All-Star Weekend. But the list isn’t limited to those contestants. Some white guys can even get up and throw it down in the flow of an actual NBA game.
So without further ado, here are five starting white guys and a sixth man that CAN jump.
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6. CHRIS “BIRDMAN” ANDERSEN
The former Denver Nugget had a tough 2012, but even with his future (with the Heat?) up in the air, it’s his actual ability to get up in the air that we’re interested in for this list. He’s participated in the NBA Dunk Contest a couple of times, in 2004 and 2005, the latter of which he famously attempted (and missed) the same dunk a record eight times. Sure, the 6-10 Birdman and the celebratory flapping of his 7-foot wingspan (like a bird, get it?) provides him with a decided advantage when taking to the air with a basketball in hand, but he can still get up pretty good – enough for a reserve spot on this list. Plus, Andersen’s pale skin offset by the labyrinthian ink (“not mink”) on his body, makes his dunks an entertaining hallucinogenic blur.