The NBA always throws up plenty of thrills and spills during the regular season and playoffs, and we are always treated to a moment of magic or two from the game’s biggest stars.
Slam dunk maestros
While we can get excited about a wonderfully crafted three-pointer, there is nothing quite as exhilarating as an outrageous slam dunk. Arguably, it is the most spectacular style of play, and it will inevitably whip the crowd into a frenzy. Over time, we have been accustomed to seeing in-game slam dunks, and to rejig your memory, we have unlocked the vault, and revisited six of our favorite slam dunks. Remember, this is in no particular order, but we hope you like our selection.
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Shawn Kemp (1992)
Perhaps one of the most infamous slam dunks of all time, Shawn Kemp was on the Seattle Supersonics roster and he was one of the most feared players of his generation. And against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of a playoff game, Kemp threw down the hammer. Kemp found an open lane before destroying Alton Lister as he leaped over him, and he proceeded to ram home the ball through the net. If you thought that was incredible, then Kemp’s somewhat cheeky celebration was also rather unforgettable.
Michael Jordan (1991)
From Nike icon to NBA great, Michael Jordan had his fair share of slam dunks during his long and illustrious career. And MJ had to feature in this carefully curated list. At times, he was simply unstoppable. Once again, this slam dunk scored extra points with us as it came during a playoff game for the Chicago Red Bulls against the New York Knicks. The dunk was immaculate from start to finish. Jordan feigned one way, befuddling two defenders before driving to the baseline, soaring over Patrick Ewig for a one-handed basket. It was simply incredible stuff, and Jordan even got a standing ovation from Knicks fans.
Tom Chambers (1989)
Tom Chambers produced one of the craziest in-game slam dunks in 1989, and the way he glided in the air was poetry in motion. It was a sight to behold as Chambers jumped so high over Mark Jackson’s body that he almost hit his head on the rim. And if you flick through YouTube reels, it’s great to watch it back in slow motion.
Dominique Wilkins (1984)
Dominique Wilkins was one of the pre-eminent slam dunkers of the 1980s, and perhaps it is no surprise he has been dubbed “The Human Highlight Reel”. You could easily flick through hundreds of highlights across his 16-year career, but the one where he double-pumped Bob Lanier. In this play, Wilkins spun on the baseline and challenges Lanier before avoiding the block and throwing the ball down with authority.
Vince Carter (1999)
We could have quite easily gone with a couple of slam dunks from Vince Carter, but his dunk in 1999 was simply off the charts. But arguably it was just another day at the office for Carter. He drove to the basket and humiliated defenders Chris Mullin and Rik Smits and then produced a reverse slam which has a very high difficulty level in terms of execution. Normally, you would see this attempted in dunk contests, but Carter dared to pull it off in a game, and we just have to salute him for his efforts.
LeBron James (2012)
One of the undisputed kings of NBA, LeBron James has achieved and seen it all. And he rounds off nicely our list of top slam dunkers. James produced arguably the finest slam dunk when he jumped over John Lucas III, and Lucas didn’t know what had hit him. Well to be more precise, James didn’t hit Lucas. He used Lucas as a traffic cone before finishing off with aplomb. While there was his infamous 2008 dunk where he was jovially accused of having “little disregard for human life” by NBA caller Kevin Harlan.