NBA Rookies have a lot to think about when they’re drafted, so when Lang Whitaker of NBA TV asks them about the best dunks they’ve ever seen, thought just stops and emotions flow out like water.
Orlando Magic Rookie Jonathan Isaac brought up the dunk that was all over the walls of any hoops fanatic if you grew up in the 1990’s: the Michael Jordan dunk from the free throw line in the 1988 NBA All Star Game. Celtics second round pick Semi Ojeyele, also went with another classic dunk from His Airness: the time Jordan put Patrick Ewing on a poster on the baseline. That being said, picking the best Jordan dunk you’ve ever seen is like picking Jay-Z’s best song — nearly impossible.
Pelicans Rookie Frank Jackson went a little more new school, bringing up Gerald Green’s in-game windmill dunk on an alley-oop while being a member of the then-New Jersey Nets. Sadly, throughout the rest of the video there was no mention of Green’s blowing out the candle on a cupcake as he slammed it home in the 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
A couple other rookies went a bit more recent, the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, Markelle Fultz brought up the flush by fellow rookie Dennis Smith during summer league. Jazz newcomer Tony Bradley went with Aaron Gordon’s dunk over the Orlando Magic Mascot from the All Star Game, Trail Blazers rookie Zach Collins went with a dunk from that contest as well — Zach Lavine’s windmill dunk from the free throw line.
However, throughout the rest of the video, there was one name mentioned more than the rest: Vince Carter. With Carter there are so many to choose from, there’s the time in 2005 when he put Alonzo Mourning on a poster, the dunks from the 2000 NBA All Star Game which singlehandedly kept the dunk contest alive. That said, one Vince Carter dunk stood out more than the rest — when Carter levitated over Fredric Weis and flushed it during the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney.
Now it’s on these rookies to continue the legacy that guys like Carter, Jordan and others have set when it comes to aerial acrobatics. But if the choices for best dunk are any indication, the best is yet to come for the NBA and their fans.