Once in awhile, we’re treated to watching Dwyane Wade unleash his athleticism all over the heads of multiple defenders, just as a reminder to know that he’s still capable of doing so. The poster dunks are less frequent, partly because of age and the fact that he doesn’t get the ball nearly as much as he did pre-LeBron, but they’re still harrowing to watch because of just how impressive Wade makes it look.
Wade is listed at 6-4, but that may be generous. It’s rumored that he may be as short as 6-2, which would make each of these 20 dunks you’re about to see that more mind-blowing. Either way, though, watching Wade sky and punish defenders who are much taller than he is is a sight to be hold. In fact, he’s arguably had two of the best poster dunks in the past decade, which I’m sure you can already predict what they are immediately after seeing the title of this piece.
Of the 20 dunks on this list, a vast majority of them are posters. He doesn’t own the open-court dunk as LeBron James does. What he does own, however, is the poster dunk, which he has performed many times, so many that they can’t even all be listed here.
With dunks as early as his rookie season and as recent as the NBA Finals, Wade hasn’t exactly shown any signs of letting up on embarrassing defenders who unwisely decide to contest his attempts at the rim. But it’s those same defenders who made this list possible, so thank you, centers who don’t mind getting dunked on by someone who is at least six inches shorter than you.
[RELATED: LeBron’s 20 Best Dunks In The NBA]
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20. Dwyane Wade dunks over Kyrylo Fesenko
Kyrylo Fesenko’s career didn’t last much longer after he was annihilated by Dwyane Wade on this coast-to-coast dunk. Not even Fesenko, who stands at 7-1 and weighs in at 288 pounds, dragging Wade down by his jersey was enough to keep him from throwing it down.
Fesenko played three games with the Indiana Pacers the next season (2011-12) and hasn’t played for an NBA team since. I’d quit too knowing that I inhabit a league where LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are on the same team.
19. Dwyane Wade dunks on Andres Nocioni
These two don’t like each other. If you watched Heat games before the Big Three was brought in, you’d know that Dwyane Wade and Andres Nocioni did not particularly care for each other, with one memory of a game being Andres pushing Dwyane and then followed with Udonis Haslem shoving Nocioni out-of-bounds.
The Heat and Chicago Bulls have a solid rivalry developing. The ’90s Bulls were constantly in Miami’s way and even the average Bulls of the mid-2000s were nuisances to the Heat, essentially ending the Wade-O’Neal years with a sweep in the first round after Miami had won a title the year before.
Consider this dunk by Wade over the top of Nocioni as frustration being released.
18. Dwyane Wade dunks over Brandan Wright
Poor Brandan Wright never saw it coming. In fact, nobody really did, besides Wade of course, and even he looked surprised.
What Wade does here shouldn’t be possible. Nobody at his height should be able to vertically go straight up in the air and dunk over a defender, five inches his superior, that fast. But it is completely possible for Corey Maggette to take five steps and then blow a dunk on the other end. That’s at least within the realm of possibility.
17. Dwyane Wade dunks over Luis Scola
A few years before being turned into a statue by LeBron James, Luis Scola was also the object of ridicule of Dwyane Wade.
Scola, who obviously hadn’t watched much game-tape of Wade leading up to the dunk, decided that it would be smart attempting to go up with Dwyane and blocking him from his intended goal.
Somebody stop making Scola defend the Dwyane Wades and LeBron Jameses of the world. It was funny the first time, but now it’s just sad.
16. Dwyane Wade dunks over Al Horford
I was contemplating on which dunk over an Atlanta defender was more deserving for this list.
One option was a crossover dribble leading to a dunk over Josh Smith, while the other, this one, features a mind-numbingly quick cut to the rim and dunk over Al Horford.
This dunk wins solely because of the hangtime, as well as the absorbing of the blow delivered by Horford that was rendered null with Wade still dunking it through.
15. Dwyane Wade dunks over Chris Kaman
Dwyane Wade has made a career out of dunking on or blocking defenders who are much larger than he is. He plays the game with the mindset that he’s 7-0 tall and can take on anyone, even though a player his size should not have this many dunks over power forwards and centers.
Chris Kaman, who only stands at 7-0, became another victim of a Wade poster by not being able to run back in time before Dwyane was able to quickly spike it through.
Fun fact: Pat Riley actually wanted to draft Chris Kaman over Dwyane Wade. Safe to say he made the right decision.
14. Dwyane Wade shows off his youth in his Game 4 dunk vs. the Spurs
What is this I hear about Dwyane Wade struggling throughout the postseason? It didn’t appear to be the case when he dropped at least 25 points in three of the final four games of the NBA Finals, including the memorable 32 he had in a crucial Game 4 victory.
During that 32-point outing, Wade unloaded one of his best dunks of the year, stealing a pass intended for Manu Ginobili and initiating a fast break, performing his patented over-the-head dribble, and finishing it off with a crowd-silencing slam over two Spurs who were too frightened to jump.
13. Dwyane Wade dunks on Troy Murphy
A dunk that was necessary. Not because of the juncture the game had reached or the one-point deficit, but the fact that Wade had been sitting out a few weeks prior to his return in this contest against the Indiana Pacers.
With the game nearing its end and the crowd still waiting to see what type of Wade was on the floor, Dwyane showcased that fearlessness he displays on a nightly basis by driving right over the top of the backpedaling Troy Murphy, who stands at 6-11. It was just another reminder of what Wade is capable of when he’s doubted and his back’s against the wall.
12. Dwyane Wade gets revenge on Rodney Carney
Earlier in this game, Rodney Carney, who stands at 6-7, got a little high on himself after dunking over Wade. Wade decided to wait a little before exacting his revenge. Once the game nearly reached the ending of the third quarter, Wade executed, throwing down a baseline slam over Carney, who promptly fell to the ground because of the ferocity of the dunk.
Like many of the other players on this list, Rodney Carney also became a teammate of Wade’s, playing in a couple preseason games earlier this year before getting cut.
11. Dwyane Wade dunks on Rashard Lewis
The Orlando Magic absolutely decimated the Heat in this midseason contest during Wade’s incredible 2008-09 campaign, one where it’s arguable that he deserved an MVP award.
But nobody noticed the result. What people noticed was Wade scoring 50 points for the first time in his career and dunking on Rashard Lewis, another future teammate of Wade’s, to end the first half.
The game was over by the start, the Heat were matching up Jermaine O’Neal with Dwight Howard, but interest was kept throughout as we pondered whether Wade could finally clip the 50-point mark.
10. Dwyane Wade dunks over Erick Dampier
Over the course of this list, you’re going to notice a significant trend of Dwyane dunking over players who would eventually become his teammate.
In this installment, it’s Erick Dampier, the former Dallas Maverick who joined the Heat midway through the 2010-11 season. Like many of the other defenders who accompany him on this list, he, too, probably joined the Heat to avoid any more drives from Dwyane Wade.
9. Dwyane Wade completes the hangtime dunk against Cleveland
Dwyane Wade has performed many acts that may seem scientifically unnatural, with no firmer example of such wizardry and calling upon spirits of another world than this dunk he had against Cleveland.
Wade has had many of his most impressive dunks against the Cavs, including this one over Antawn Jamison and this other instance of a dunk over Anderson Varejao that had to be left out, but his original dunk over Varejao and this incredible hangtime dunk take the top spots, as far as dunks against Cleveland go.
At some point, even Miami fans are going to feel awful for what the Heat do to the Cavaliers on a season-by-season basis. Cleveland has one win against Miami since LeBron left for the Heat and that came in the first season.
8. Dwyane Wade dunks on the entire Indiana Pacers defense
Arguably his most underrated dunk, Wade seemingly has the entire Indiana Pacers defense crowding him when determination drives him to the rim and lifts him up to dunk over three defenders.
The entire sequence is a thing of beauty. He loses his original defender on the Michael Beasley screen, does the over-the-head move on Troy Murphy, and then rises up over Josh McRoberts, as well as his original defender, to throw down the dunk.
Keep watching that video until the end and you’ll see that he made a grown woman cry in joy.
7. Dwyane Wade dunks on Kevin Garnett
In a playoff game where he scored 46 and was able to extend his team’s postseason series, this dunk over Kevin Garnett may not have even been the best play.
Along with this thunderous slam, which also prompted Michael Beasley’s “that had to hurt” face, Wade also uncharacteristically drained five of his seven three-pointers, and scored 30 points in the second half.
Not many guards can say they’ve dunked on Kevin Garnett, nor can many, if any, say they’ve done it twice.
6. Dwyane Wade dunks on Kevin Garnett (again)
Kevin Garnett has been victimized by Dwyane Wade not once, but twice, as seen in this rarely mentioned dunk of a second-year Wade dunking over an in-his-prime Garnett.
You have to be fearless if you want to make it to this stage of sports. The professional leagues aren’t meant for the weak of heart or those who second-guess themselves. They must think and act quickly and take smart, calculated risks that other players may not. A 23-year-old Wade going strong over a staunch defender in Garnett is one of those players who didn’t allow fear to impede their progress.
5. Dwyane Wade dunks on Emeka Okafor
Dwyane Wade does not care who is in his way when he’s driving to the rim. No matter how tall or imposing the defender may be, he is going to make it his mission to either go around or over the top of gargantuan power forwards and centers.
In this case, it’s Emeka Okafor, the shotblocking center who now plays for Washington. He was able to escape playing the Heat four times per year when he was traded to New Orleans, but he finds himself back in the same division as Wade and LeBron James now. Guy can’t get a break.
When he plays against those two, he’s at risk of encountering problems such as the one portrayed in the video, where Wade drives and delivers on his head.
4. Dwyane Wade dunks on Tim Duncan
As Scott Van Pelt says in the video, not many players have been able to dunk over Tim Duncan. The few I can recollect were by some of the league’s most athletic players in LeBron James and Vince Carter, who also had height on their side.
Meanwhile, Wade, whose listed height at 6-4 may be extremely generous, used what height he had, as well as the gift of youth, to get to the rim before Duncan could swat his shot away.
Once again, this is a young Wade doing this. Clearly he had no respect for his elders, evidenced by his slams over Duncan and Kevin Garnett.
3. Dwyane Wade dunks over Jermaine O’Neal
It’s Wade’s first postseason of his career and he’s coming off a spirited seven-game series win over the New Orleans Hornets, initiated with a game-winning floater in Game 1, the first playoff game of his career.
There weren’t many expectations for the 42-40 Heat when they went to take on the one-seeded Indiana Pacers, a team anchored by MVP candidate Jermaine O’Neal and that had legitimate championship aspirations.
The Heat wound up losing the first two games of the series, but came back strong with two shocking wins of their own back home. Their series would eventually end in six games, but not before Wade had his own “welcome to the NBA” moment when he cut down the lane and threw down a crowd-rising dunk over O’Neal.
After such an impressive and unexpected run, the Heat attracted the help of Shaquille O’Neal and won a championship two years later. This dunk on Jermaine O’Neal carries a lot more weight than it just being any other impressive slam by Wade.
2. Dwyane Wade spins and dunks over Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins has had a rough couple of years lately. His most notable play was getting dunked on by Blake Griffin and his career has been a downward spiral, topping off with current averages of 2.8 points on 44 percent shooting.
But his worst moment since joining the Oklahoma City Thunder may well have been getting dunked on by the 6-4 Dwyane Wade, who not only dunked on Perkins off an incredible spin move, but then cabbage-patched to celebrate.
Demoralizing has never been a more appropriate word.
1. Dwyane Wade nearly ends Anderson Varejao‘s career
This is the definition of a rude dunk. A dunk so foul and cruel that it would make Shawn Kemp proud and wish for the good ol’ days where you could dunk on someone, take their lunch money, and only receive a standing ovation, not a fine or a technical foul.
Wade did the NBA world a favor when he barrelled down the lane and dunked Anderson Varejao into his own self-respect, which may not have been worse than getting dunked on and nearly doing a reverse somersault if not for the stanchion.
Varejao has made a career of being one of the league’s notorious floppers. Watching Wade dunk on him was a victory for the school of basketball we have come to miss.
Is Wade the best 6-4 and under dunker ever?
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