February 22, 2018
I’m not a basketball fan. I didn’t grow up with it, I don’t understand it, and I also suck at sports. Now I may not be familiar with basketball, but I am familiar with disrespectful dunks in basketball. When I mean disrespectful, I don’t just mean a dunk with flare and attitude. No, I mean THIS DUNK IS THE MOST DISRESPECTFUL THING IN HISTORY. EARTH SHATTERING. HEART STOPPING. MY BODY IS CONVULSING. This player, no matter how good, will always be associated with said dunk. It’s a wonderful moment for everyone. Not only is the dunk itself great to witness, but the crowd reactions? Dude, that’s even better. Now you may be wondering, “how can a dunk be disrespectful?” Honestly, you just know. It’s not something that’s classified, it’s more of a feeling. Like you watch it and your first reaction is to drop your jaw to the floor, possibly stand up, and scream “YOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Granted, even a simple play can garner this same reaction, but dunks, guys. Dunks.
This list has no particular order and there is no ranking. Just pure dunks. I know that not everyone understands basketball, but I will be giving a backstory to the game so you understand what’s going on.
Michael Jordan on Dikembe Mutombo
This dunk isn’t particularly big or amazing, but the history behind it makes it disrespectful. A video came out showing Jordan and Mutombo joking around about how Jordan had never dunked on Mutombo. Patrick Ewing happened to be in the locker room as well, and jumped in the conversation: “He ain’t never dunked on you?” he asked. Dikembe: “No!” Ewing: “Never.”
I honestly don’t even remember the actual dunk, but I do remember the hilarious part after it. After Jordan dunked on Mutombo, he did the signature finger wag that Mutombo would do after he blocked shots. What a beautifully petty moment.
DeAndre Jordan on Brandon Knight
Chris Paul dribbled the ball out near the three-point line. DeAndre moved towards the rim. Unfortunately, Paul tossed the ball up too high for an alley-oop. DeAndre (God bless) went after it, and as he jumped so did Brandon Knight (what a fool). DeAndre caught the ball, cocked it back and dunked it with such a force that it knocked Knight straight on his back. Listen, when I first watched the dunk, my first reaction was to let out a disgusting screech and shout “DUUUDE!!!” Gross. Destructive. Glorious.
Shawn Kemp on Chris Gatling
The thing I love the most about this dunk is that after Kemp dunked on Gatling, Gatling GAVE HIM PROPS. He wasn’t even mad about it! Do you know how much pride a person loses after getting dunked on? It’s a lot. Dude couldn’t even be mad about it, just gave Kemp props and moved on. Respectful sportsmanship.
Tracy McGrady on Shawn Bradley
I feel like anyone with the last name Bradley probably deserves getting dunked on. It was a playoff game between the Rockets and Mavericks. Apparently, they hated each other, so this just adds to the disrespect level. McGrady had the ball in the corner, and he was being guarded by Dirk. McGrady dribbled around him, and Bradley slid over trying to protect the rim. McGrady blessed with the rage of a warrior accelerated straight towards Bradley, and Bradley knew he wouldn’t make it out alive and turned his back and waited for the dunking. McGrady was up so high, that when he let go of the rim, he slid down Bradley’s back. If you look closely you see that for a split second T-mac was straddling Bradley. In the background you can see Jon Barry (player for the Rockets) roll onto the floor in shock, and the pettiest thing of all, the refs called a foul on the dunk.
LeBron James on Jason Terry
A good ole’ revenge dunk. Jason Terry started talking to the media about how LeBron James wouldn’t be able to guard him well for a full series. Somehow, by the grace of God, this ended up being true. Terry outplayed LeBron in games 4, 5, and 6, and the Mavericks ended up stealing the title from the Heat. SMH. Two years later, Terry was on the Celtics and they were playing the Heat, who were not only the defending champions, but also on a 22-game winning streak. Terry was bringing the ball up the court, and Dwyane Wade snuck in from behind and stole it. Wade tossed it over to Mario Chalmers, who tossed it to Norris Cole, who then lobbed it up to LeBron, who suddenly begin heading straight toward Terry. Terry, the cocky little man that he is, kept jumping around trying to knock the ball away, but couldn’t. He jumped for it when Norris threw it to LeBron, but it was too high, and LeBron caught it, DUNKED it with a force, Knocking Terry backwards. LeBron stared at Terry long enough to prove his point and then walked away. A death stare. Peering into the soul. So disrespectful. The funny thing about this dunk is that afterward LeBron told the media scrum, “I’m glad it happened to him.”
Shawn Kemp on Alton Lister
Game 4 of the first round series in the 1992 playoffs. The Sonics, led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp (banging the hightop fade), were up 2-1 on the Golden State Warriors. The backstory to this dunk is that Kemp and Lister got into a fight during game 2, so they really didn’t like each other. The dunk itself is brutal, but I think Kemp’s reaction after really seals the deal. Sonics guard Ricky Pierce was stuck in a trap on the left side of the court. He turned and tossed the ball out to Kemp, who caught it. Kemp realizing the lane was wide open, took a dribble in and began his jump. Alton Lister trying to take a charge, ended up with a knee in the sternum, which somehow pushed Kemp higher into the air. Lister falls backwards onto the ground, sliding several feet across the court. Kemp (this is the best) lands, squats down a little to get closer to Lister’s eye level, and THEN POINTS AT HIM WITH BOTH INDEX FINGERS! When I watched that happen in the clip I screamed.
Dwyane Wade on Anderson Varejao
This is manslaughter. I’ve witness a murder. Varejao should’ve just ended his basketball career after. It’s brutal. It’s dirty. I don’t wanna watch, but yet I have to. R.I.P.
Kobe Bryant on Steve Nash
First of all, Kobe Bryant is a huge dork. Dude literally gave himself the nickname Black Mamba. He named himself! Secondly, the teamwork building up to the dunk is phenomenal, even when Lamar Odom falls to the floor, he still manages to pass the ball to Kobe, who in return, dunks the ball with everything he’s got. It’s the hustle that makes me add the dunk to the list.
Julius Erving on Michael Cooper
Dr. J didn’t even have to think about the dunk. Cooper didn’t stand a chance. Erving winded his arm back so far before he dunked it. It’s just cool watching it. The ball slides right through the net. There wasn’t even a second thought to this dunk. It had a purpose. A meaning.
Blake Griffin on Pau Gasol
Not only did Blake Griffin dunk on Gasol twice but he also was pushed by his own teammate for dunking a second time. That dunk has to be disrespectful and angry if your own teammate pushes you away. The aggression.
Shaquille O’Neal on Chris Dudley
THIS DUNK IS SO DISRESPECTFUL THAT I CAN ONLY TYPE WITH ALL CAPS TO DESCRIBE. AS SHAQ WAS COMING DOWN FROM THE DUNK CHRIS DUDLEY, WHO JUMPED RIGHT AS SHAQ DID, GOT A FACE FULL OF SHAQ’S CROTCH. CHRIS FELL TO THE FLOOR, THEN GOT UP AND THREW THE BALL AT SHAQ’S BACK. THE DUDE WAS SO MAD THAT HE THREW THE BALL. DISRESPECTFUL. THAT’S IT.
Darryl Dawkins Breaks the Backboard Twice
Man, do you know how hard you have to dunk the ball to shatter the BACKBOARD? Shattered. It’s hard to put this into words. I can best describe my feelings through screams, gasps, and frantic frailing. I’m shaken to the core about this. I watched the clip like three days ago and I still can’t get over it.
Michael Jordan Winning his First Championship Since his Father’s Murder
This final story isn’t about a dunk, but it is about the greatness of this transcendent game.
Game 6 of the 1996 NBA finals. Arguably the best season in NBA history. Michael Jordan had 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists in Chicago’s 85-75 win over the Seattle Supersonics in game 6 of the finals. It was an exciting moment, so exciting you almost forgot the game was on Father’s Day. That’s right. This was the first championship Michael Jordan won since his father’s murder. It was an emotional moment for everyone involved. Jordan’s father had been with him every step of the way since the beginning of his basketball career. After the final buzzer sounded, Jordan ran back to the Bulls locker room and collapsed onto the floor crying, eventually making his way back to the court for the trophy ceremony. A tearful Jordan dedicated this championship to his dad. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s a truly beautiful moment.
The greatest thing about basketball is that anyone can enjoy it. From a die hard fan to a person who knows nothing about it, dunks bring everyone together.