Featured Gallery, NBA / Nov 11, 2011 / 11:30 am

The Top 10 Dunkers In The NBA

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin (photo. Rob Hammer)

If we could go back to the 2010 NBA Draft, we’d realize Detroit thought they had themselves a keeper. With the No. 36 pick, the Pistons took Terrico White, a 6-5 combo guard who promised to be one of the best athletes in the NBA the second he donned a jersey. Yet after balling in that jersey for less than one preseason game, he hurt his foot and missed his entire rookie season. So we have a second round pick who missed his whole first year for a team that nobody cares about? No wonder people didn’t realize he was in the NBA until last weekend.

If you didn’t see the show White put on in Rudy Gay‘s charity game when he might’ve owned the top five plays himself, you need to. We hooked up with White earlier this summer, and he swears this year will be his coming-out party. There are Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook comparisons. He could reach that level or he may not. But if he gets consistent minutes, he’ll at least be catching himself on SportsCenter quite often.

So in honor of White’s hops, I put together a list of the 10 best dunkers in the NBA at the present moment. There are no real requirements for this. This isn’t a list showing the guys who are the best contest dunkers, or even those who finished with the most flushes last season. It’s a combination: the guys who are most entertaining, but yet aren’t simply open court or contest dunkers. You need creativity, but you gotta be able to do it in a game as well.

With that, here are my top 10:


10. JaVale McGee
McGee is definitely in the big man camp when it comes to dunking. He was fourth in the league last year with 155 dunks, just behind DeAndre Jordan. But unlike Jordan, we’ve seen McGee do some crazy stuff (much of it stemming from the fact that he does seem, well, crazy). The dunk contest wasn’t the only highlight we had from him last year. I seem to remember a couple of botched dunks that would’ve made an all-time blooper list. Even with those, McGee gets up as high as anyone in the league.

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  • k to the mart

    No Shannon brown!?!? He isn’t that creative but the way he glides through the air should at least earn him a spot over McGee … I prefer him as a dunker over Jr smith too

  • thrillah

    Blake Griffin reminds me of 1998-2002 Vince Carter. Highlights after highlights every single game. The scary part is, it was his rookie season. I don’t think LeBron should be so high for the simple fact that he doesn’t have any creative dunks. I also think Josh Smith is too high, DeRozan too low, and Iggy is well deserving of the second spot.

    Thank you for not including Nate Robinson on the list. That was my biggest concern before reading the article.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Considering that some of Shannon Brown’s most memorable “dunks” were actually misses, I’m OK with him not being on the list.

    I’d probably put LeBron ahead of Wade, and D-Rose ahead of Westbrook.

    Guys to watch out for if we get a season: Christian Eyenga, Paul George, DeAndre Jordan, Travis Leslie.

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    Shannon Brown is too scared to go up and dunk it over anyone with any consistency. most of his dunks are open court, no one around dunks. ive watched shannon go up against defenders in the air and he always bails out to a layup or floater all the while im yelling at the screen “dunk it fool dunk it!”

  • http://Twitter.com/sir_Malone Ryan

    Rudy Gay! Its a respectable list but you can’t leave out Rudy Gay. I’m a wizards fan so I’m happy to see McGee on the list. And Derozan deserves to be on the list.

  • dvs

    given that the best dunk related highlight Shannon brown has was when Maxiel Blocked his a$$ at the rim, I’m happy he wasn’t on the list.

    Terrico will be up there next season :)

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo


    seeing that Rudy Gay was hurt most of the 2010-2011 season i doubt he has enoug highlights to make this list

  • Jane

    I miss watching Blake play….stop the lockout!

  • http://www.nbadunks.org NBA Dunks

    Vince Carter is still a top-10 dunker! Look what he did last season with the suns:


  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Im not sure i agree with the entire list, but it’s not bad.

    My top 10
    #1 – Blake Griffin

    #2 – Dwight Howard, so what if he’s big his dunks are still monstrous and full of power. And he has creativity from the dunk contest. He doesn’t get any fastbreak/open court dunks to show his creativeness during games

    #3 – JR Smith. Half court alley oop he turned into a 360 is more than enough to have him top 3. But add in a few of his facials, and no way is any of the other wings better.

    #4 – Andre Igoudola
    Powerful dunker with creativeness during dunk contest. His windmills in game are kinda weak and his back dunks have are played out. He is just slightly better than Lebron in game. But his dunk contest performance (which NATE DID BEAT HIM BTW) is good enough to put him high on the list

    #5 – Russell Westbrook. He has the attitude and anger to produce some memorable dunks. The one he attempted on Bynum and Gasol of the Lakers would have been Legendary. The guy just doesn’t care….ask Shane Battier

    #6 – Deandre Jordan – Mini Dwight Howard.

    #7 – Lebron and Wade. They are both the same. repetitive open court dunks with little creativity. But they provide a lot of facials and fastbreak dunks.

    #8 – Rudy Gay. Tends to stick to the Windmills and double pump back dunks like the rest but he has incredible length and dunks on people.

    #9 Derrick Rose – My problem with Rose early on was that he never attempted to dunk on people. He would get the chance but unlike his evil twin (Westbrook) he would go with the smarter play and finish with a double clutch lay up instead. But then the 2011 Playoff happened and He did this…. http://youtu.be/I9mNcvGRxHY
    Seriously, this guy followed his own miss with a dunk and he’s barely 6’3. His two hand back scratcher dunks almost make me want to put him higher because no one else his size is doing that kinda thing. And his dunk over Joel Anthony is the stuff of Legends.

    #10. Javel McGee – The guy just doesn’t care. And thats what you want in a dunker. He has no regard for anyone in his way. He would be much higher if he was more flashy.

    Guys who just missed/honarable mention:
    Amare, Bill Walker, Josh Smith, Kevin Durant, Shannon Brown, Trevor Ariza, Demar Dorzen

    Terrance Williams, Chase Buddinger, Eric Gordan

    Here is my evidence
    …LMAO at the “Ride’em Cowboy” call on the JR SMith dunk

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Chicago — Nate doesn’t even get an honorable mention. Yeah I’m a homer, but fact is nobody else has ever won 3 NBA dunk contests. He belongs on the HM list ahead of guys like Ariza and Durant.

  • gMunEEklik

    I personally think that DeRozan should be in the top 5 with the stuff he did during the regular season and also those dunks he did in the dunk comp were straight filthy

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla


    I’m a big Nate Robinson fan. unlike most, I think he beat Iggy in that dunk contest hands down not even close. But that’s dunk contest stuff. When talking about the best dunkers in the game, you have to be dunking ON PEOPLE or having very creative dunks during games. That’s why Nate didn’t get a mention. He gets like 1 or 2 dunks a year if that. Dunk contest stuff is cool, but seeing guys like T-Dub, Jahi Carson, Kiwi Gardner, and Aquille Carr dunk, Nates feats become less impressive. I mean come on, i saw a 5’10 HS girl dunk during warmups a month ago. Still got love for Nate though as far as dunk contest goes.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    I really don’t understand the love for Demar Derozen. Is it because he is in T-dot and being put in Vince Carters shoes?

    Whats the difference between Derozens dunks and Nick Youngs? nothing. Derozen had a good showing in this years dunk contest, but other than that dude is highly overrated when it comes to dunking. He has less facials than 6’3 Derrick Rose.