The NBA’s 30 Best Dunkers

08.30.13 6 years ago
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 warmups, 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 30 best dunkers in the NBA?

*we didn’t include any rookies (sorry Tony Mitchell) for a simple reason: no professional evidence*

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The lil’ man doesn’t do it very often and his rocket boosters don’t have quite the same pump in them that they used to, but he’s still possibly the greatest little man dunker of all time. He’s also a good enough athlete that even last year we saw him throw down a few monsters in Chicago.

Three 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 every night for the Los Angeles Lakers and was pre-crowned as 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. Despite a change of scenery, his high-flying dunking ways have continued with the Phoenix Suns.

Henderson is playing in a basketball graveyard in Charlotte, but every once in a while he breaks through and gets into SportsCenter. Remember when he took Dwight Howard‘s soul last season? Remember the reaction of the Lakers bench? You could’ve used every adjective in the book and it still wouldn’t have been enough.

The mini LeBron had a decent showing in last year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest, but he really shines during games. With the Clippers, he was a backup and a role player. In Phoenix, he’ll be a significant piece. There’s no doubt he’ll be climbing higher on this list as the season goes on. Little guys always get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to dunking, but this dude has the body to go right through you if you jump with him.

Isn’t it crazy that VC is 36 years old now and still gets up every now and again to remind us of what he once was? We argued over putting Iman Shumpert in this spot, but let’s face it: Carter has long enough arm and big enough hands to put down some impressive jams.

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