The dunk is one of the most exciting sequences in the game of basketball. When a player jumps and does windmill or a 360 in the air, it creates a huge buzz in the arena. The fans go wild, the commentators go crazy, and the bench can’t help but jump out of their seats.
But not everyone likes to see dunks. This is where shot blockers come in to play. Guys like Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Ben Wallace have made a career out of blocking shots. So what happens when the two worlds collide? Posters, lots of posters.
When we see the dunk, it’s always exciting. It’s great to see the athleticism that pushes players beyond the laws of gravity. But who remembers the guy that gets dunked on? We do. Honorable mentions to Vince Carter’s Dunk of Death over Frederic Weis, during the 2000 Olympics.
9. Brandon Knight, Career Earnings (so far): $8,112,840
In his young career, Knight has been known mainly for being on the wrong end of highlight plays. Drafted 8th overall by the Pistons in 2011, Brandon Knight didn’t get much recognition in his rookie year and most of his second year. On a team that was among the bottom feeders of the Eastern Conference, Brandon Knight wasn’t given many opportunities to shine with constant coaching changes around him.
What do we know Brandon Knight for? Firstly, who can forget when Brandon Knight was embarrassed by Kyrie Irving in the Rising Stars Challenge in 2011 when Knight was dropped to the floor after a crazy crossover. Just under a month later, Knight was the victim of murder (according to the Internet) after DeAndre Jordan annihilated him in what was arguably the dunk of the year.
8. Pau Gasol, Career Earnings (so far): $156,574,396
Another player still in the league, Pau Gasol certainly has done a lot in his career. He’s a two-time Champion, four-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year in 2002, and the victim of numerous posters. Until recent history, Pau was never known as one of the guys who gets dunked on a lot, always knowing how to get away from being at the bottom of posters.
However, When Christian Eyenga went baseline and dunked on Pau, his reputation changed. Only a year later, in a game between the Lakers and Clippers, Pau was put on the bottom of two posters in the same game when Blake Griffin absolutely annihilated him. Two posters in one game, and one person doing the dunking. Pau joined the list of Blake’s victims after that night.
7. Chris Gatling, Career Earnings: $29,498,827
Known as the Energizer, Chris Gatling had a decent career as a solid big man. Gatling was a one-time All-Star in 1997, and spent the majority of his career finding homes across the NBA. However, as most others my age, I discovered Christ Gatling’s career on the bottom end of a poster.
In his rookie year, Gatling was blessed by The Reign Man himself, Shawn Kemp. The dunk was so ferocious that Gatling showed Kemp some love after being embarrassed. Either Gatling didn’t feel the effect of what just happened, or he was also in awe of what Kemp did to him. Either way, Kemp’s dunk remains one of the best of his career, and it couldn’t have happened without the Energizer admitting defeat.
6. Alton Lister, Career Earnings: $7,788,250
I’m starting to think that Shawn Kemp didn’t like guys that played on the Golden State Warriors. Lister wasn’t a very popular player, he didn’t have flashy moves, or many mesmerizing dunks. But what he did have, was a 17-year NBA career with only five teams. This means that these teams recognized that there was something valuable about having a player like him around.
I guess Shawn Kemp was pretty happy with having him around too. After Kemp drove the lane to absolutely obliterate Lister, he pointed both fingers at Lister, mocking the guy he dunked on. In today’s NBA, this would have been classified as a technical instantly. But Kemp went back to play defense while Lister was still feeling how it felt to be sitting on the hardwood under his net. The dunk was so loved that it’s now become a comical t-shirt for all, but Lister.
5. Patrick Ewing, Career Earnings: $119,943,120
Patrick Ewing is one of the best centers in history, but often gets looked over. Drafted number one overall in 1985, Ewing was believed to be the player that would bring the New York Knicks back to relevance. However, poor Patrick Ewing and the Knicks didn’t see Michael Jordan becoming the wonder that he became.
Not only was he a victim to the Bulls in the season and playoffs, Ewing was also a victim of some of the best posters in NBA history. Jordan essentially broke through the whole Knicks defense and then postered Ewing from the baseline, and Pippen destroyed Ewing and then walked directly over him. Needless to say, Patrick Ewing must really hate what the Bulls of the 90s did to him.
4. Dikembe Mutombo, Career Earnings: $143,666,581
Climbing a mountain is a feat that very few people can say they do. So what does that say about players who are able to climb Mount Mutombo? It means those dunkers have courage, supreme confidence aren’t scared of rejection.
Everyone loves seeing Mutombo’s finger wag. But guys like Vince Carter, Michael Jordan, and Shaquille O’Neal are some of the only players who have been able to stop Mutombo from doing it to them. Instead, Carter mean-mugged Mutombo, Shaq just over-powered him, and Jordan gave him the finger wag back. Maybe these dunks are what cause him to have such a unique voice.
3. Alzonzo Mourning, Career Earnings: $143,906,333
Alonzo Mourning was known for his monstrous figure. Just by looking at him, anyone could tell how strong he was. That’s why he was so valued in the NBA, as the big man in the middle to hold down the paint. That’s also why players loved to have the opportunity to dunk over Zo whenever they had the chance.
Being an NBA Champion, seven-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year was not enough of a deterrent for high flyers to go through Zo’s air space. After a young Shaq absolutely massacred Mourning, he fell victim to other high flyers like Jordan and Carter (who haven’t these guys gotten).
2. Timofey Mozgov, Career Earnings (so far): $14,451,421
Although Mozgov has only been in the league for about four years, Mozgov already has a reputation of being THAT guy to get dunked on. When your name becomes a verb known across the NBA community as getting dunked on, you’re career will be forever seen as that.
Originally starting with one of the first Blake Griffin dunks, where he jumped over Mozgov and threw the ball into the net with ferocity, getting Mozgoved has become a common occurrence throughout the NBA. After that, we’ve seen DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson, and Al-Farouq Aminu all own facials over Mozgov. And now we sit and wonder, when will the next Mozgov happen?
1. Shawn Bradley, Career Earnings: $69,580,000
Standing at 7’6, there is no doubt that Shawn Bradley would be number one on our list. When you’re so known for being dunked on that ESPN’s Sportscentre releases a Top 10 Dunks on Shawn Bradley, you deserve to be at the top of every viewers mind when they think of facials. To give Bradley his credit, he averaged 2.5 blocks per game for his career, and appeared in Space Jam, both of which are amazing feats.
And with many shot blocking attempts, comes many embarrassing moments that follow. Bradley was known for getting dunked on by so many players, it’s near impossible to name half of them. Let’s just say that when Tracy McGrady went baseline and dunked over Bradley and got the And-1, Marv Albert screamed that McGrady “just sucked the gravity out of the building!” Needless to say, the NBA dunk would not be the same without its main victim, Shawn Bradley.