NBA / Dec 6, 2012 / 12:00 pm

Kobe Bryant’s Top 10 Dunks

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Originally posted in October of 2011, we’re revisiting some of our favorite Kobe Bryant content after he became the fifth player to ever score 30,000 points last night.

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Kobe Bryant has maintained his spot as the best basketball player in the world because, even as his nagging injuries pile up and he moves into his 30s, he relies more on his skills and fundamentals than simple athleticism and explosiveness.

Don’t get it mistaken, though: Kobe can still get up every once in a while, even if some analysts and fans talk about his hops like he’s Zydrunas Ilgauskas. So in much of the same line as my 10 Best Basketball Movies, 10 Best Basketball Documentaries, and 10 Best Basketball Books, I decided to try to put together a list of the Black Mamba’s best jams throughout his career.

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10. Windmill in Utah (2001-02)
One of the Kobe’s lesser-known dunks, this one is featured in the NBA Street Series, fittingly a fleeting flash during Bryant’s lone segment in the video. It is also one of my personal favorites; with The Diesel standing by in admiration, Bryant puts down a windmill, contorting his body to the side after a steal. To finish it off, the Mamba flashes the fundamental-loving Utah crowd his guns. Ron Burgundy is in the building.

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  • OBF

    The dunk “on” KG is not really “on” KG. It is more like KG got beat by a quicker offensive player for a dunk.

  • http://SoulChorea.com Kermit The Washington

    Best list ever. Thank you goodbye.

  • Neelio

    The one over Howard was pretty good even though Howard didn’t jump. The rest were just meh. Kobe’s vertical his first year in the NBA was only 38 inches, so he’s not a great leaper. Compare that to Jordan, whose vertical his first year at UNC was a crazy 48 inches. See list below for best leapers:


  • easy yeezy

    the dunk on denver- beautiful.

  • Detroit Dave

    @ #3 Kobe might not be the highest jumper but he had some of the best in air body control in the League. Besides height and distance being flexible and maneuvering has a lot to do with completing Windmills, and 360’s and such.

  • LakeShow84

    Yeah Kobes up werent much to drool for but dude probably had the most agility in the air you’d see outside of Vince..

    The behind the back 180 on Seattle is another classic..

    Oh and the Raja cleansing from the top of the key hitting the 270??

    Damn that boy was sick.. and he was doin shit like that IN THE PLAYOFFS..

    just sayin..

  • http://nbainstl.blogspot.com StrengthSTL

    you’ll never see a play like #2 again. Crazy 8 Kobe wooo…bad man

    “No one man should have all that power”

  • Neelio

    @5 and 6…I’ll give you that. Kobe definitely has some of the best body control of anyone I’ve seen. I guess I’m just more into power dunks (instead of finesse dunks) where dudes just destroy other people’s manhood…a la Kemp in his prime, just nasty!

  • karizmatic

    Yeah…good list as soon as I saw this article I said if he doesn’t have the dunk on Sprewell as number one forget it. I remember watching this on tv and thinking when Kobe went up “he’s going to try to dunk but I don’t think he’s going to make it…and then for him to whip ot around like that so quickly….I couldn’t even react I was like “he didn’t just…yeah he did…on Sprewell…damn”

  • LakeShow84

    anyone remember that dunk on SA in the playoffs when we swept them that year??

    He ran baseline got underneath the hoop and did a reverse BUT kept his momentum goiing forward.. He didnt run under the hoop stop or slow down and did a behind the head he basically did a reverse slam while flying under the hoop.. NUTZ..

    That was one dunk i always to do as a kid..

  • Yooo

    Kobes my guy, but got damn he walked on #9

  • LakeShow84

    @ Neelio

    Aye old Kemp dunks were OFF THE CHAINSSSS!!

    The Kemp/Dawkins dunks bring down the house and make people say OOOOOOOOOO

    The Kobe/VC dunks make people say aint no way he just did that.. i gotta watch that again on Sportscenter lol

  • LakeShow84

    @ DIME

    Do a top 10 on the Rain Mans dunks.. perfect offseason time lol

  • http://dimemag.com Sean Sweeney

    @Lakeshow84 I thought about including that dunk. That one was crazy. In that series, he had another crazy one too where he caught a lob with his left hand and ended up dunking with two.

    We will definitely think of doing one on Kemp.

  • shiptar

    the dunk on Big Ben was sick!

  • http://www.twitter.com/lakersnation @LakersNation

    Chick Hearn was the MAN . . . how many classic calls did you just hear?

  • Lorenzo

    I too was expecting that dunk in the top 3. 2-handed reverse baseline. Huaaa!!
    here it is …

  • aliloff

    @ Neelio

    I’m not sure how valid or accurate that link is as they have Dr. J with a 41″ vert and Julius Erving with a 43″ vert … Aren’t they one in the same? just an observation

  • Roman

    @OBG- Oh no. KG was definitely in that poster. Nice try

  • shuttles

    #3 is tops for me. Just crazy extension. Pre-season but still absolutely sick.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Sweeney

    Right on.. its the offseason so we got time!

    @ Lorenzo

    I cant view it from work :( but right on ima peep it as soon as i get home haha

  • AZ

    Number 9 was sick… i was in the nose bleed section during that game and i was jump up. That was his first game back from shoulder injury. Sic

  • Stunnaboy09

    Damn, I knew KB had hops but this is ridiculous…

  • Promoman

    I think the behind-the-back 360 is Kobe’s greatest dunk. He took Chris Webber’s dunk on Barkley and gave it a 2K upgrade.

  • http://dimemag.com Sean Sweeney

    Okay, that list is definitely partially fake. MJ’s vert was never 48 inches (I have doubts there has ever been a NBA player who had that high of a vertical)… and there are plenty of other numbers in there that are wrong.

  • cov

    at least three of those dunks are so simliar I don’t know how they all made it and are ranked so far about.

    numbers 1, 5, and 9. It’s a great dunk sure but why is 1 better than 5 when it happened in the playoffs?

  • cov

    also the list is fake. they have vince going from 8’11’ to 12’6′ listed as 43 inches and jordan from 8’10’ to 12’5′ as 48 inches. Isn’t that the same distance though? Someone get me a tape measurer!

  • jackie moon

    denver dunk takes the cake boys. badass

  • Nyeme

    Kobe had a dunk over Pippen in the ’00 Conference Finals that was vicious….I just can’t find it anywhere

  • http://dimemag.com Sean Sweeney

    @cov the one he had in MSG is definitely a tougher dunk than #5. He jumped from further out and you can see the stretch is much more difficult. Plus, it was one of, if not the first time he did that dunk so at the time, the reaction to that one was crazy.

  • http://dimemag.com Sean Sweeney


  • http://nasteedunx.blogspot.com Nasteedunx

    Jaren Jackson read this and went, “Phew!”

  • BV

    You forgot the dunk over Robinson and Duncan in the 2001 WCF. Given who he dunked on (former league MVPs and DPOYs) and the stakes of the series (the last two NBA champs going head to head in the playoffs), that was better than all of these.

  • RealTalk

    Who put these kobe dunks on here?…are people this obsessed over this dude? I’m not impressed with one dunk….show some Dominique, Vince Carter,Kemp or Jordan dunks…I had to laugh at some of these comments on here, like his dunks are the best ever. If you want to see some ridiculous dunks watch this video:

  • Co

    This baseline dunk against Sac was pretty dope too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lA4gVPQaTY

  • http://jjaazzmmaann@yahoo.com B. Butler Sr.

    #3 over Ben Wallace should be #1! Throw it down Kobe, Throw it down!

  • Chise


    I’m so mad I found this article as late as I did…

  • http://www.nickydigital.com/index.php?/member/6283/ Daron Desort

    Kobe is a beast. The only player to ever come close to Jordan is Kobe. Haters just will not admit that he is incredible. He will get at least six rings before he is over.

  • Mentallect

    Kobe was 17 years old when his vertical leap was measured unlike MJ, Vince Carter, J. Richardson, etc who were measured at NBA camps. Kobe’s vertical went higher as he became a man, and at age 34 his dunks were more explosive and impressive than MJs at the same age.