Jordan doing what he does, flying
Ah, the slam dunk… the move in basketball that is almost never necessary, but is always most appreciated by the fans. You can sink all the three-pointers you want, but nothing gets a crowd psyched like the sight of a giant soaring through the air and slamming down the ball with controlled aggression.
The history of dunking is hotly contested, with some accounts saying that the first one occurred in a game in the thirties. However, the move really started to be performed on the regular in the sixties and seventies, which helped propel the NBA into the mainstream. It seems that nearly every NBA player can dunk nowadays, but only a select few throughout its history have been able to really fly.
Here, then, is a quick look at the three greatest dunkers in NBA history. No current players are eligible for this list.
We have to start a list of the greatest dunkers off with the ‘Royal Airness’ himself, Michael Jordan. Like the rest of humanity should, we here at https://thegruelingtruth.com/ think Jordan is the greatest to ever play the game. One thing that helped make him head and shoulders above the rest was his incredible athletic ability, especially earlier in his career. He had no trouble twisting and turning through the air in moves that seemed only comparable to footage from the moon landings.
Jordan found himself on a seemingly endless supply of magazine covers and posters since the mid-eighties, throwing down slam after slam. Whether it was the gravity-defying leap from the free-throw line that helped him win the 1988 All-Star Slam Dunk Contest or the jump over Patrick Ewing that silenced Madison Square Garden in the 1991 NBA Playoffs, Jordan has created some of the biggest dunking moments in history.
This player earned the nickname ‘The Human Highlight Reel’ during the eighties. It’s no wonder then that Dominique Wilkins basketball career is most remembered for him doing crazy dunks during games that most players would struggle even attempting in practice. Wilkins had a fantastic and intense rivalry with previous entry Michael Jordan at multiple All-Star Slam Dunk Contests, where the two challenged each other to reach new heights of what athletes were capable of doing. He came out on top in 1985 and 1990 with some spellbinding dunks to let everyone know how high he could soar.
Wilkins spent the majority of his time in the NBA at the Atlanta Hawks and there’s no doubt the team could use him now as they do battle in the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. The favorites to win the playoffs are now the Brooklyn Nets who are priced at 5/2 at the best online bookmakers.
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CAPTION: These players wowed stadiums with their dunks
Back in the 2000’s, nothing could stop Vince Carter from getting to the basket with a poster finish. Even if you put a 7ft 2in Frenchman in front of him, it didn’t matter, Carter would just use his utter disdain for the rules of gravity to launch himself over the obstacle. This is what happened at the 2000 Sydney Olympics when Team USA played France. It’s now known as probably the most famous dunk in the entire history of basketball, and in France they even call it ‘le dunk de la mort’, which translates as the dunk of death. That same year Carter dominated the All-Star Dunk Contest, and seemingly gave everyone in the crowd sore necks from having to look up so high as he threw down windmill slam after windmill slam.
The only thing that was as impressive as his ability to scale anything and everything was his career longevity, with Carter managing a record twenty-two seasons in the NBA. The then forty-three-year-old announced his retirement from the game in 2020, as was reported on https://nba.com.