10 Greatest Dunkers In NBA History: Above the Rim Legends

The art of dunking in basketball has captivated fans for generations, and the NBA has seen some of the greatest dunkers in the history of the sport. These players have not only exhibited incredible athleticism but also contributed unforgettable moments to basketball history. Here are the top 10 greatest dunkers in NBA history, as acknowledged by fans and experts:

1. Michael Jordan
2. Vince Carter
3. LeBron James
4. Julius Erving
5. Dominique Wilkins
6. Shaquille O’Neal
7. Blake Griffin
8. Jason Richardson
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Russell Westbrook

Michael Jordan, widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, revolutionized the dunk with his aerial artistry. Vince Carter’s dunking abilities were unparalleled, as he showcased creativity, power, and grace in his dunks. LeBron James combines size, strength, and athleticism to create explosive dunks, often posterizing opponents in the process.

Julius Erving, known as Dr. J, brought dunking to the mainstream with his acrobatic and innovative style. Dominique Wilkins, aptly nicknamed “The Human Highlight Film,” wowed crowds with his high-flying dunks and sheer power. Shaquille O’Neal, a dominant force in the paint, overwhelmed defenders and shattered rims with his powerful slams.

Blake Griffin brought a combination of strength and finesse to his dunks, executing rim-rattling jams with style. Jason Richardson was known for his high-flying and creative dunks, often incorporating unique maneuvers into his performances. Kobe Bryant, although known for his scoring ability, possessed exceptional leaping ability, resulting in some awe-inspiring dunks.

Russell Westbrook, an explosive guard, consistently displays his dunking prowess with thunderous slams that ignite crowds. These players have left an indelible mark on the game with their dunking skills, providing fans with countless unforgettable moments.

As we delve into the list, we will explore the key highlight dunks and signature moves of these greats, taking a closer look at their contributions to the game and their impact on basketball history.

1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Source: nba.com

Full Name Michael Jeffrey Jordan
Date of Birth February 17, 1963
Height 6 feet 6 inches
Position Shooting guard
Teams Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards
Championships 6
MVP Awards 5
Scoring 10
All-Star Appearances 14
Retired Jersey Number 23

Michael Jordan, whose full name is Michael Jeffrey Jordan, was born on February 17, 1963. He stands at 6 feet 6 inches tall and played as a shooting guard during his career. Jordan is most famously known for his time with the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards.

Throughout his career, he won 6 championships and received 5 MVP awards. He also holds the record for the most scoring titles with 10. Jordan made 14 All-Star appearances and his jersey number, 23, has been retired by the Bulls.

Fact: Michael Jordan is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, known for his incredible scoring ability and competitive drive.

2. Vince Carter

Vince Carter

Source: raptorshq.com

Undeniably one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history. Throughout his career, he showcased his extraordinary athleticism and amazing leaping ability, leaving fans in awe. Carter’s dunks were not only powerful but also stylish and creative.

During his time with the Toronto Raptors, Carter became renowned for his jaw-dropping dunk over French center Frédéric Weis in the 2000 Olympics. This iconic slam instantly solidified his status as one of the most dominant players in the game. Carter continued to amaze audiences with his high-flying skills, executing impressive dunks that electrified spectators.

His ability to soar through the air and finish with authority made him an unstoppable force on the court. Carter’s dunks were not just for show; they often shifted the momentum of the game and energized his teammates and fans alike.

Even as he aged, Carter’s dunking prowess remained unparalleled. At the age of 41, he became the oldest player in NBA history to dunk during a game, showcasing his timeless athleticism.

Vince Carter’s impact on the sport of basketball goes beyond his incredible dunks. His relentless dedication to the game and his contributions to various teams throughout his career have solidified his place among the NBA’s elite players.

Vince Carter’s dunking abilities revolutionized the game and left an indelible mark on NBA history. His gravity-defying feats will forever be remembered as some of the best displays of athleticism in basketball.

3. LeBron James

LeBron James

Source: olympics.com

He is one of the most dominant and influential players in NBA history. He has had an illustrious career and continues to showcase his exceptional skills on the court.

LeBron James has achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. He has been named NBA Finals MVP on four occasions and has won NBA championships with both the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Known for his versatility, LeBron James has the ability to play multiple positions on the court. This allows him to impact the game in various ways, whether it be scoring, rebounding, or playmaking.

LeBron James possesses incredible athleticism, which has contributed to his exceptional dunking abilities. His powerful dunks not only excite fans but also energize his teammates and can shift the momentum of a game.

In addition to his scoring prowess, LeBron James is an exceptional passer. His court vision and ability to create opportunities for his teammates make him a threat every time he has the ball in his hands.

LeBron James is renowned for his basketball IQ and his ability to make intelligent decisions on the court. His understanding of the game allows him to anticipate plays and make strategic moves that benefit his team.

Off the court, LeBron James is a philanthropist and an advocate for social justice. He uses his platform to make a positive impact in his community and to promote equality and change.

LeBron James’ impact extends beyond basketball. His influence and popularity reach global proportions, making him one of the most recognizable and marketable athletes in the world.

LeBron James is a true legend of the game. His remarkable skills, leadership, and impact both on and off the court have solidified his status as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

4. Julius Erving

Julius Erving

Source: nba.com

Also known as “Dr. J,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history. Known for his incredible athleticism and graceful playing style, Erving revolutionized the game with his high-flying dunks and acrobatic moves. Here are some key points about

  • Career Highlights: Erving’s career spanned from the ABA to the NBA, where he showcased his dunking prowess. He won three championships, two in the ABA and one in the NBA, and was named an All-Star 16 times.
  • Signature Dunks: Erving is best remembered for his electrifying dunks, including his famous “Baseline Move” and the “Rock the Cradle” dunk in the 1983 NBA Finals. These iconic dunks solidified his status as one of the most exciting players to ever grace the court.
  • Influence on the Game: Erving’s style of play helped popularize the artistry of dunking in a time when the move was not as common. His creativity and finesse inspired future generations of players to incorporate acrobatics into their own dunking repertoire.
  • Cultural Icon: Beyond his basketball skills, Erving also became a cultural icon. With his afro, stylish attire, and charismatic personality, he became a symbol of the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Legacy: Erving’s impact on the game can still be seen today. He paved the way for future dunkers, and his influence can be seen in players like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Vince Carter.

Julius Erving’s remarkable dunking ability and overall impact on the game have solidified his place as one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history. His legacy continues to inspire and entertain fans worldwide.

Remember to appreciate these amazing athletes and their contributions to the sport of basketball.

5. Dominique Wilkins

Dominique Wilkins

Source: georgiaencyclopedia.org

Dominique is widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history. Throughout his illustrious career, Wilkins showcased his incredible athleticism and dunking prowess. He consistently thrilled fans with his high-flying acrobatics and electrifying slams.

Wilkins, known as “The Human Highlight Film,” was a dominant force on the court. He possessed remarkable leaping ability and had an innate knack for finishing at the rim. With impressive dunks, he often demoralized opposing players and ignited his team’s momentum. His style of play was characterized by powerful jams and creative maneuvers that left spectators in awe.

During his NBA career, Dominique Wilkins recorded a total of 2,596 dunks. His dunking prowess was not limited to just one season or team; he consistently displayed his skills year after year. His dunking ability made him a perennial All-Star and a highly respected player in the league. Wilkins’ dunks were not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly effective, leading to numerous highlight-reel plays and memorable moments throughout his career.

Wilkins’ impact on the game of basketball extended beyond his dunking abilities. He was a scoring machine, averaging 24.8 points per game over his 15-year career. His versatility and scoring prowess earned him various accolades, including two NBA Slam Dunk Contest championships. Wilkins’ legacy as one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history is firmly cemented, as he continues to be celebrated and remembered for his incredible athleticism and breathtaking dunks.

6. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O'Neal - SHAQ

Source: cnn.com

Shaqille O’Neal, also known as Shaq, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history. Standing at 7\’1″ and weighing over 300 pounds, he dominated the court with his immense size and strength. Shaq’s dunking ability was a hallmark of his game, and he left a lasting impact on the league.

Here are some key facts about

  1. Powerful dunks: Shaq’s dunks were a force to be reckoned with. He used his size and strength to throw down thunderous slams that would leave defenders in awe.
  2. Rim-shattering presence: When Shaq went up for a dunk, it was not uncommon for the entire rim to shake. His sheer power and force would often result in backboard-shattering dunks.
  3. NBA championships: Shaq’s dominance was not limited to his dunking prowess. He won four NBA championships throughout his career, showcasing his overall dominance on the court.
  4. Records and accolades: Shaq’s impressive career was recognized with numerous accolades. He was a 15-time NBA All-Star, won the NBA Finals MVP three times, and was named the NBA MVP in 2000.
  5. Larger-than-life personality: Shaq’s impact extended beyond the basketball court. His charismatic personality and engaging demeanor made him a beloved figure both on and off the court.

Shaquille O’Neal’s dunking ability and overall dominance on the basketball court solidify his place among the greatest players in NBA history. His powerful dunks, championship success, records, and larger-than-life personality have left an indelible mark on the sport.

If you’re a fan of the NBA and the art of dunking, watching highlights of Shaq’s career is a must. His high-flying slams and sheer dominance will continue to inspire awe and excitement for generations to come.

7. Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

Source: kark.com

is one of the most electrifying dunkers in NBA history. With his incredible athleticism and leaping ability, he has wowed fans with his high-flying dunks throughout his career. Griffin’s highlight reel is filled with powerful slams and posterizing dunks that have left defenders in awe.

Known for his explosive style of play, Griffin has consistently displayed his dunking prowess. Throughout his NBA career, he has recorded numerous impressive dunks, showcasing his ability to elevate above defenders and finish with authority at the rim. His incredible leaping ability combined with his strong physique allows him to dominate the paint and finish plays with thunderous dunks.

Not only is Griffin known for his dunks, but he is also a well-rounded player. He has developed into an excellent scorer, rebounder, and playmaker. His ability to contribute in multiple areas of the game has made him a valuable asset for teams he has played for.

If you’re a fan of high-flying, jaw-dropping dunks, then watching Blake Griffin is a must. His athleticism and skill make him an exciting player to watch, and his dunking ability is unmatched. When Griffin takes flight, you can’t help but be amazed by his incredible talent and the sheer power he puts into his dunks.

So, if you’re looking for some exhilarating basketball action, make sure to check out Blake Griffin and witness his incredible dunking abilities firsthand. You won’t be disappointed.

8. Jason Richardson

Jason Richardson

Source: sports.yahoo.com

As one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history, Jason Richardson left a significant impact on the game. With his explosive athleticism and creativity, Richardson mesmerized fans with his high-flying acrobatics.

Richardson’s dunking ability was characterized by his incredible vertical leap and body control. He possessed the rare talent to effortlessly soar above defenders and throw down thunderous dunks. His hang time allowed him to execute breathtaking moves, leaving the crowd in awe.

Throughout his career, Richardson showcased his dunking prowess in various ways. Whether it was catching lobs for powerful alley-oop slams or taking off from a distance and finishing with style, he always found a way to energize the crowd.

Not only was Richardson known for his spectacular in-game dunks, but he also excelled in dunk contests. He participated in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest twice, winning the title in 2002 and 2003. His innovative dunks, such as his signature between-the-legs jam, solidified his status as one of the most innovative dunkers of his time.

Richardson’s impact extended beyond his dunks. He was a valuable contributor on both ends of the court, showcasing his skills as a versatile player and a tenacious defender. His presence on the court elevated the excitement level and inspired his teammates and fans alike.

Jason Richardson’s dunking abilities were truly remarkable. His athleticism, creativity, and showmanship made him a fan favorite and a standout in NBA history.

9. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Source: nba.com

Kobe was one of the most dominant and greatest iconic players in NBA history. Known for his incredible scoring ability, unmatched work ethic, and competitive nature, Bryant left an indelible mark on the game. Here are some key facts about

  • Scoring prowess: Bryant scored an impressive 33,643 points during his 20-season career, making him one of the highest-scoring players in NBA history.
  • Five-time NBA champion: Bryant’s relentless drive and leadership helped him lead the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships, solidifying his status as one of the greatest winners in the game.
  • All-time great dunker: While known for his scoring ability from all areas of the court, Bryant also possessed a stunning dunking ability. His explosive dunks and high-flying finishes electrified crowds and left opponents in awe.
  • 81-point game: On January 22, 2006, Bryant put on a scoring display for the ages, scoring an astonishing 81 points in a single game against the Toronto Raptors. This performance remains the second-highest individual scoring game in NBA history.
  • Dedication to the game: Bryant was renowned for his relentless work ethic and commitment to excellence. His dedication to improving his skills and staying in peak physical condition set him apart from his peers.
  • Hall of Fame induction: In 2020, Bryant was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, recognizing his incredible impact on the sport.

Kobe Bryant’s legacy extends far beyond his statistics and accolades. His passion for the game, unwavering determination, and unparalleled competitiveness continue to inspire future generations of basketball players. His impact on the NBA and the world of sports will forever be remembered.

10. Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

Source: nba.com

Russell Westbrook is an incredible player known for his explosiveness and athleticism on the basketball court. Here are some key aspects that highlight his greatness:

  • Scoring ability: Westbrook has consistently been one of the top scorers in the NBA throughout his career. He has an impressive career average of 23.2 points per game.
  • Triple-double machine: Westbrook is known for his ability to contribute in multiple statistical categories, especially in recording triple-doubles. He holds the record for the most triple-doubles in a single season with 42.
  • Rebounding prowess: Despite being a guard, Westbrook has an exceptional ability to grab rebounds. He has averaged 7.4 rebounds per game over his career, showing his determination and hustle on the boards.
  • Passing skills: Westbrook is also a capable playmaker, consistently dishing out assists to his teammates. He has averaged 8.4 assists per game throughout his career, showing his ability to create scoring opportunities for others.
  • Athleticism and explosiveness: One of Westbrook’s most defining qualities is his incredible athleticism. His explosive drives to the basket and thunderous dunks make him an exciting player to watch.

In addition to his incredible skills on the court, Russell Westbrook is also known for his generosity off the court. He has been actively involved in various charity initiatives and has made significant donations to support underprivileged communities.

One notable story that showcases Westbrook’s kindness and compassion is when he surprised a young fan battling cancer by inviting him to a game and spending time with him afterwards. Westbrook’s actions not only brought joy to the young fan but also inspired many others with his genuine kindness.

Some Facts About the 10 Greatest Dunkers in NBA History:

  • ✅ Dunking is a captivating aspect of basketball that showcases skill and athleticism.
  • ✅ Millions of basketball fans watch slam dunk highlights on YouTube every day, making it a popular ritual.
  • ✅ The popularity of slam dunks in the 1970s and 1980s led to the creation of the NBA slam dunk competition.
  • ✅ Michael Jordan is widely considered the best dunker in NBA history, known for iconic dunks like the “Jumpman” and “Free Throw Line” dunks.
  • ✅ Vince Carter is also highly regarded as one of the greatest dunkers, showcasing creativity and hang time in his dunks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered the best dunker in NBA history?

Michael Jordan is widely regarded as the best dunker in NBA history, known for iconic dunks like the “Jumpman” and “Free Throw Line” dunks.

Who is known for his creativity and hang time in dunking?

Vince Carter is highly regarded as one of the greatest dunkers, with his highlight reel showcasing his creativity and hang time.

Who inspired Michael Jordan in the art of dunking?

Dominique Wilkins, known as “The Human Highlight Film,” was a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion and inspired Michael Jordan.

Which NBA player is recognized for powerful and graceful dunks?

LeBron James, known for his all-around basketball skills, is recognized for his powerful and graceful dunks.

Who played a pioneering role in modern dunking?

Julius Erving, also known as “Dr. J,” played a pioneering role in modern dunking and won the ABA Slam Dunk Contest in 1976.

Who is considered the most underrated dunker in people’s top ten lists?

Kobe Bryant is often underrated in most people’s top ten lists, despite having a long list of victims of his posterization, including Yao Ming, Ben Wallace, and Tim Duncan.