When it comes to dunking in the NBA, names like Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins, Vince Carter, Shawn Kemp, Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Clyde Drexler come to mind. However, over the last twenty years there have been quite a few underrated dunkers who didn’t really receive the appreciation that was due for their dunking abilities. Some of these players even played their career at a hall of fame level. Let’s take a look at these high flyers, who somehow flew under the radar. Make sure that you watch their dunking highlights on YouTube after reading this.
1. Manu Ginobili
The Argentinian legend who was a four time NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs is very well known for his crafty layups, tricky passes, and spectacular three point shots. However, he also has a long list of spectacular in-game dunks, especially the ‘facial’ and ‘poster’ kind. Throughout his career, he played fearlessly and attacked the rack without being concerned with who was in front of him. Even 7 foot 6 inch behemoth Yao Ming couldn’t stop Ginobili from dunking over him. Most of Ginobili’s best dunks are aggressive one-handed finishers over multiple defenders. In Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals, he had a spectacular dunk where he shoved Ray Allen aside and dunked over the outstretched hand of 6 foot 11, Chris Bosh. In the 2017 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at the age of 39, he slammed a right handed dunk over Ryan Anderson.
2. Ray Allen
Allen is remembered for hisspectacular three point shooting and clutch performances. Before Steph Curry’s explosion on the scene, Ray Allen was widely considered the greatest shooter of all time. Even today, he holds the record for the most number of threes made in a career. During Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the Spurs, he made what is perhaps the greatest clutch shot in the history of basketball. However, at his athletic peak during his stint with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle Supersonics, Ray Allen was a spectacular dunker. He could get to the ring at will and finish over the top of defenders with ease. Even during the later stages of his career, Allen had a great dunk in the 2014 NBA Finals against the Spurs when he stiff-armed Marco Belinelli and dunked over Danny Green.
3. Jeff Green
With a 38 inch vertical and a 7 foot 1 wingspan, Jeff Green is a strong and powerful dunker. During his athletic prime with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Boston Celtics, he was throwing down thunderous dunks every other night. He was especially great at rising over defenders and throwing it down with authority. He was a part of the young and explosive Oklahoma City Thunder core before being traded to the Boston Celtics in 2011, where he averaged 16 points per game at his peak.
4. Jamario Moon
The Moonwalker played for five seasons in the NBA. The 6 foot 8 swingman had a ridiculously large wingspan and a reported 43 inch vertical. Moon entered the NBA Draft in 2001, but was left undrafted. He joined the D League and moved around until he was called up by the Toronto Raptors in 2007. His leaping ability was sensational and he dazzled fans with all kinds of spectacular dunks. Alley oops, going over defenders, Moon was a complete aerial artist. He even competed in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Go to YouTube and search ‘Jamario Moon Inhuman Rebound’ to catch a glimpse of this high flyer’s amazing leaping abilitiy.
5. Gerald Wallace
To be honest, Gerald Wallace deserves to be on a ‘Most Underrated Players’ list in general. One of the most athletically gifted players to ever play the game, Wallace is also one of the very few players to have averaged atleast two steals and two blocks in a single season. He competed in the dunk contest as a member of the Sacramento Kings and was very well known for his rim rattling dunks where it would seem like Wallace could climb over defenders and throw down some vicious slams. One of the biggest reasons why his career faded into obscurity is because he spent a major chunk of it with the perpetually horrendous Charlotte Bobcats. That franchise was a running joke in the NBA and didn’t achieve much (or any) success. Even though Wallace made the All Defensive First Team in 2010, his abilities never got the respect they deserved because he never played on a playoff contender.