The NBA season is set to tip off this upcoming Tuesday, October 19th. The Milwaukee Bucks have their championship banner ceremony and open up the regular season against the current betting favorites for the NBA championship, the Brooklyn Nets.
October has established itself as one of the best months of the sporting year. All four major professional leagues having meaningful games at the same time. The NBA is the last league to start up, so I’m here to get your mind back into basketball.
One of the greatest moments in basketball is seeing two incredible athletes going full speed at each other, with the simple objective of either putting the ball in the basket or stopping that from happening.
So many different factors contribute to a great poster. The crowd, the reaction by the players, and how it seems to happen out of nowhere. For this article, I collected what I thought were the 15 best posterizers in NBA history and polled 20 people to rank these moments in order. The voters were told to think about the disrespectful intentions by the dunker, and how they would feel after being slammed on like that.
So let’s get into the list…
#15 Baron Davis on Andrei Kirilenko
Baron Davis was a man wanted for murder after his posterization on Andrei Kirilenko. He pled guilty with the untuck of his jersey as he threw his hands in the air to prove his innocence. The “We Believe” Warriors was a roster full of energy, grit, and a no fear attitude, with Davis as the heart and soul of the team. He attacked the 6 inch deficit with Kirilenko and sent Oracle Arena into a frenzy heard around the world.
#14 Julius Erving rocks the baby on Michael Cooper
Back in the day, not many guys were dunking the basketball at all. A classic dunk needed to make way onto this list, and the doctor of dunking is the guy. The “rock the baby” dunk has yet to be repeated in game, and probably never will be. Erving shows off his true athleticism in the transition game and throws down a vicious slam that could’ve rang the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
#13 Carmelo Anthony mistreats Paul Millsap
After working out all off-season; lifting weights, putting up hundreds of shots a day, getting ready to be the best you can be for the next season, this was how Paul Millsap started out his 2009 season. Millsap grabs the defensive rebound in a close fourth quarter game, and casually throws it to his point guard before Carmelo puts on his swiper the fox mask, and teaches Millsap a lesson he won’t soon forget. The crowd goes ballistic, as Melo provokes Denver into late night mayhem.
#12 Anthony Edwards on Yuta Watanabe
Often times, rookies in the NBA will have their “welcome to the NBA” moment. A special moments to remind them they play professional basketball now. For the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, he created his own moment. Edwards has quickly grown as a fan favorite in the NBA for his humorous off the court moments. After Edwards polarizes Yuta Watanabe he looks up at the jumbotron like a kid in the candy store excited to show off his artwork to the entire world.
#11 Giannis clears Tim Hardaway Jr. at MSG
The Greek Freak flies onto this list with his biggest career altering moment. Giannis soars over a 6’6″ Tim Hardaway Jr. like nothing to catch a lob from teammate Khris Middleton. In the post game interview he even said “It was a bad pass…” and “I did not see Tim Hardaway…” It was only his second year as an all star and Antetokounmpo’s viral dunk dropped the jaws of fans at MSG and all over the world. Changing his status from star to superstar with an exclamation mark.
#10 Gerald Wallace embarasses Bostjan Nachbar
A young Gerald Wallace soars in at #10 by landing the first ever post dunk 360. Wallace takes off from one step inside the free throw line while Nachbar is looking to take a charge well outside the restricted area. Nachbar went on to play in the NBA for four more seasons, but his career ended this night. Wallace downright disrespects Nachbar by throwing his rear end in his face, dunking the ball, and still managing to land directly in front of him on two feet. You have to respect the effort to take the charge, but he just ended up in a body bag.
#9 Jayson Tatum says hello to Lebron James
Jayson Tatum was 5 years old when Lebron James entered the NBA and was crowned “The Chosen One”. But I don’t know any King getting boomed on by a 19 year old rookie like this. In game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals Tatum decides to introduce himself to the world as he jams on one of the greatest players ever. After the dunk, Tatum then imprints the memory in James’ head forever with a chest bump and a scream as Lebron looks on in shock at what just happened. “The King” had been stunned.
#8 Dwayne Wade right on top of Anderson Varejao
A young Flash comes in at #8 by slamming on Anderson Varejao with an incredible force that sent him back to recess, practicing his summersaults. Dwayne Wade runs the entire court and throws down a vintage slam on the 7 footer Varejao. He dunks with enough power to makes Varejao’s legs almost touch his noggin. The court cleaner could’ve used Varejao’s hair as a mop for the rest of the night as Dwade steps all over the Cavalier’s Center.
#7 Lebron James ends Jason Terry
Poor, poor, Jason Terry. Terry turns the ball over as a 1 on 3 fastbreak not in his favor breaks out. Prime Lebron plays the grim reaper role, gaining a running head start from half court to send Terry into eternal embarrassment. Terry was a 14 year veteran, and NBA champion at the time, and did not deserve this type of treatment. To be fair, he did it to himself. Why on earth would you jump with Lebron at full speed?! Shoutout Courtney Lee for running up and scraping Terry off the court like Wiley the Coyote getting run over by the Looney Toon road runner.
#6 Blake Griffin over Pau Gasol, Twice!
In 2012, Blake Griffin was in his second year in the NBA and played games with a pogo stick in his back pocket. Griffin throws down a mean putback dunk on Gasol not even 90 seconds after wishing one another good luck. But, Pau clearly did not learn his lesson as he decides to meet Griffin at the rim once again, and still loses. The Staples Center is home to LA Clippers and Lakers, but Gasol could not get out of the building faster that night.
#5 Scottie Pippen dunks all over Patrick Ewing
Jordan was Batman. Pippen was Robin. The year Jordan left, it was Scottie’s turn to be the man. And Scottie went flying on this night. The Bulls-Knicks rivalry in the 90’s was mostly one-sided, but the intensity of these games was off the charts. Here, Pippen assaults the 7 foot plus Hall of Famer Ewing, and then heads right to courtside to let Spike Lee know he can get it too.
#4 Shawn Kemp UFC style dunk and point on Alton Lister
Shawn Kemp comes crashing onto this list at #4 with a flying knee to the head of Alton Lister. Lister falls to the ground as Kemp points him out to the entire Climate Pledge Arena letting everyone know he got dunked on. The dunk came with under a minute left in a series clinching victory for the SuperSonics in the 1992 playoffs. Kemp quite literally sent Lister on vacation, as the 34 year old then spent the next year playing in the professional Italian basketball league. Arrivederci.
#3 Vince Carter takes off over 7 footer, Frédéric Weis.
Frederic Weis was an innocent French men, violated in front of the world at the 2000 Olympics. Weis’ mother and family was watching this game when Vince decided to humiliate him. The Frenchmen stood like a deer in front of headlights as Carter signaled for takeoff. The “Dunk of Death” signified the true dominance of USA basketball and showed the entire world humans could fly.
#2 Deandre Jordan sends Brandon Knight to his grave
Oh my goodness Deandre Jordan. Everything about this clip is legendary, from the Clippers bench, to the announcer, to the Pistons not even knowing how to react! Textbook Lob City Clippers as Jordan drops the hammer on Knight’s dome. The only thing Knight needs after this is a pillow, a blanket, and a bedtime story from his mother to try and sleep this nightmare away.
#1 Shaq babies Chris Dudley
The most disrespectful dunk in NBA history belongs to the most dominant big man in NBA history. In March of 1999, Shaq was a six time all star matched up against a 33 year old, 12 year vet Chris Dudley. Shaq gets the ball in the post and proceeds to dunk on and shove Dudley to the ground like a little boy. Dudley stole the show at the top spot of this list by throwing a crazy temper tantrum in front of full crowd at the Staples Center. He had the audacity to get up, throw the ball at Shaq, and walk towards him like he was actually going to do something. This clip earns the title because Shaq took us back to the schoolyard and bullied a professional basketball player into childish behavior.