NBA / Oct 29, 2010 / 1:00 pm

The Top 5 Dunkers on the Planet

Josh Smith (photo. adidas)

This is the elite class. Finding a way to rank the Top 25 dunkers in the world that will please everyone is obviously impossible, as everyone has their own criteria and their own biases. For example, some don’t think the “circus act” types like Mr. 720 and Guy Dupuy deserve a spot among NBA guys like Dwight Howard and LeBron, whereas others feel if you go purely on dunking skill, hardly anyone in the NBA qualifies when there are people who make dunking their livelihood.

But even with all the different ways of looking at it, you can’t deny that the five dunkers listed below are among the best in the world today. They’ve blended hops, power, in-air creativity, personal style and intangible swagger to become legends — at least on YouTube. The top five…

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5. ANDRE IGUODALA (Philadelphia 76ers)
Probable cause: Top-5 athlete in the League has the whole package when it comes to dunking, and does it against the best competition in the world.
Reasonable doubt: Maybe the greatest dunker to never win an NBA dunk contest.
Physical evidence:

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4. JAMES WHITE (Spartak Saint Petersburg, Russia)
Probable cause: Master of the free-throw line dunk, “Flight” can go between his legs and two-hand from the line.
Reasonable doubt: Known as a contest dunker, but he’s lost on two of the biggest stages, to David Lee at the McDonald’s H.S. All-American showcase, and as an NCAA senior in ’06.
Physical evidence:

*** *** ***

3. JOSH SMITH (Atlanta Hawks)
Probable cause: 2005 NBA dunk contest winner, routinely pulls off contest-worthy windmills in games. Has dunked on an All-Star ballot’s worth of NBA stars.
Reasonable doubt: His arsenal of windmills and tomahawks can become a little redundant, much like another former Atlanta Hawks high-flyer named ‘Nique.
Physical evidence:

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2. TERRELL COURNOYEA (Team Flight Brothers)
Probable cause: At 5-foot-9, “T-Dub” does things many 6-6 NBA athletes can’t do. His hops seem almost uncontrollable.
Reasonable doubt: Can he play?
Physical evidence:

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1. JUSTIN DARLINGTON (Team Flight Brothers)
Probable cause: “Jus Fly” won what may have been the greatest dunk contest ever put on. The professional contest dunker is a true original in an art form that needs creativity.
Reasonable doubt: Again, can he play?
Physical evidence:

What does your list of Top 25 dunkers look like?

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #6-10

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #11-15

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #16-20

TOP 25 DUNKERS ON THE PLANET: #21-25

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  • http://dimemag.com Sean Sweeney

    I still say Air Up There > everyone else http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EULYLpLwGLk&feature=related

  • Security

    Glad ya’ll give James “Flight” White his respect… hes been under the radar to some(even tho he won a ring with the Spurs)..but the nickname fits!
    Not many people believe me when I tell them he completed a between the legs dunk from the FT line… crazy!

    I agree with the rest of the top 5 list… niiiiice!

  • loozer

    i’d like on the list – Chase Budginger
    didn’t make the cut but was close – Golden Child
    the great unknown who you missed – Shal (Alexander Shalygin)

  • Kudabeen

    Wish this Iguodala would show up more for the sixers…If he acts the basket instead of try to imitate what Kobe does to be great he would be better served.

    He reminds me of another great Philly athlete that changed his style of play to prove he was greater and ended up diminishing his career in Randall Cunningham.

    Dre I had ZERO freethrow attempts after all summer he and Doug Collins saying that would be his focus…I know it is just one game, but that sickens me.

    He could be 20, 5, 5, 2, 1 guy easily if he took less jumpers off the dribble and got to the line.

    Come on Coach Collins get this guy to wake up and stop trying to mirror Kobe

  • BooBooDaFool

    I know not too many people know about him but check out Kenny Dobbs on youtube, dude has silly hops lol

  • rapTOr

    Justin Fucking Darlington?

    Really?

  • http://www.TheProductBand.com Kermit The Washington

    James White is the greatest free-throw line dunker of all time.

  • Rbin

    Here’s a cool list (only NBA players that are still active):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTLL7Etu9H8

  • jerkishbehavior.com

    This list is still quite awful, no way josh smith and iggy are top 5 dunkers in the world (lebron is a better dunker than these two). Mr. 720 deserves a top 5 mention. T-Dub & James White should be battling it out for the top 2 spots.

  • http://www.dumbshitsdntgetit.com Chicagorilla

    Nah, AUT still the best out there. Im convinced that many of them are on some sort of steroid too. And alot of them dont really have creativity or innovative dunks. They just copy the latest dunk someone did or tried already (360 btw legs, kiss the rim, jumping over ppl, behind the back). Thats why AUT, James White, Iggy, D12, Nate are top of the list to me.

  • MARCI

    Kenny Dobbs is the best!

  • eazy yeezy

    T-Dub is wicked. Those dunks are absolutely vicious.

  • Promoman

    James White definitely deserves recognition despite being a contest dunker. To expand on his reasonable doubt, he really needs an in-game dunk resume, especially when challenged defensively. Overall, he’s a legitimate baller. I haven’t seen any footage of him posterizing somebody since Ball Above All dropped on about 10 or so years ago when he was in high school.

  • Promoman

    I don’t know if I’d give Andre Iguodala the all-time unsigned hype crown when it comes to NBA Dunk Contests. He’s certainly top 2 or 3 but I think Shawn Kemp has that title.

  • Ian

    white is number 1. in his prime vince is the best ever.

  • derik

    Iggy over Mr.720? plz….

  • SimMoe

    Kenny Dobbs should be number 1!!!!

  • jay

    Is Jus Fly doing these dunks indoors on a DOUBLE RIM!!!!!!!!!

  • Jay10do

    Mr.720 eazy……….

  • Dirtball Rotten

    IM SORRY that Iggy dunk off the back of the backboard is one of the most amazing dunks i have ever seen

    #8

  • Jay10do

    Mr.720 is smooth athletic and powerful with a touch of explosiveness.

  • ricky ross

    lmao kenny dobbs didnt get into the list haha wow dimemag do more research before posting shit like this. dobs is top 3 in the world. stop falling behind

  • Shah

    Mr. 720 deserves to be in the top 5.

  • barons beard

    Josh Smith is the most boring dunker in the world, puts me to sleep when I see him on top 10. Dunno if its because it looks too easy or what