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15 Greatest NBA Dunkers of All Time

Dipsey doo dunkaroo! There’s nothing better than a great dunk in the NBA. A combination of attitude and style, the dunk, is the ultimate play on the court. Some dunkers use brute force, throwing down

Dipsey doo dunkaroo! There’s nothing better than a great dunk in the NBA. A combination of attitude and style, the dunk, is the ultimate play on the court. Some dunkers use brute force, throwing down their jams while others mix in finesse. Both have the ability to make the crowd stand and pump their fists. This list includes examples of both and a few that have the perfect mix of finesse and throw down.

When looking at the great dunkers it’s impossible not to consider the NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest. Since 1984 this event has showcased the truly great leapers and jammers in the NBA. Keep in mind though, that being in the dunk contest could expose you as well, so there are both positive and negative factors in participating.

Not everyone made the list, a few honorable mentions include old-school dunkers Harold Minor and David Thompson as well as LeBron James, who has never participated in a slam dunk contest (not a prerequisite for the list, but suspicious nonetheless). Also, Blake Griffin isn’t here. Sure he dunks hard, but so do others and his “jumping over a car” in the 2011 dunk contest was too contrived for my taste. Also, Nate Robinson, winner of two dunk contests during a time when you were allowed to miss 1,000 dunks before one counted. It was dark times for dunking.

This list has old-school meets new-school, power versus style, tall and short and lessons from the past. Here are your 15 greatest dunkers of all time.

15 Dwight Howard

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Images

14 Shawn Kemp

Via sbnation.com

13 Jason Richardson

Via mlive.com

12 Kobe Bryant

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports Images

11 Dee Brown

Via espn.go.com

10 Tracy McGrady

9 Larry Nance

Via yardbarker.com

8 Clyde Drexler

Via pixgood.com

7 Spud Webb

Via rsvlts.com

6 Zach LaVine

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports Images

5 Dominique Wilkins

Via imgkid.com

4 Darryl Dawkins

Via nydailynews.com

3 Vince Carter

Via niketalk.com

2 Michael Jordan

Via mymj.nl

1 Julius “Dr. J.” Erving

Via nydailynews.com

He had the look, the ABA ball and the free throw dunk before Jordan. Would there have been a Jordan without Erving? That’s a debate for another time, but there is no doubt that Erving was the first dunker for show. Erving had such finesse and style that anytime I watch a highlight I hear Miles Davis in the background, that’s how smooth he was. Erving brought many dunks to the mainstream and showed everyone how much entertaining the slam dunk could be. Not only is he the greatest dunker of all time, he is the best at stopping short and going with the finger roll. He had so much influence the NBA should name the slam dunk contest after him.

Sources: nba.com

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15 Greatest NBA Dunkers of All Time