On February 6, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo rocked the NBA world by dunking over Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. However, although Antetokounmpo’s dunk was phenomenal, one has to wonder where his dunk ranks in NBA history. Dunking over a fellow professional basketball player is one thing but doing it on an alley-oop puts it on another level.
These are the five best alley-oops in NBA history:
5. Vince Carter vs. the Los Angeles Clippers (3/8/00)
Sometimes, a terrible pass can make an alley-oop look that much better. Carter is able to get so high off the ground while also being able to reach his right hand back extremely far to catch that horrid pass. Carter also slams it with a tremendous amount of power, which makes it extremely entertaining to watch.
4. LeBron James vs. the Chicago Bulls (1/29/12)
It is extremely rare to leap over another player in any basketball game. Although Lucas III is only 5-foot-11, LeBron is still able to completely jump over him, which is insanely difficult to do. LeBron also has to catch the pass in the midst of leaping over him, which makes the play that much better.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. the New York Knicks (2/16/18)
Antetokounmpo’s dunk is extremely similar to LeBron’s dunk. However, Antetokounmpo’s dunk is slightly better due to the height of the person he leaped over. While Lucas was only 5-foot-11, Hardaway Jr. is 6-foot-6. Conceptually, the idea of leaping cleanly over a 6-foot-6 person is mind-blowing to me. Antetokounmpo’s dunk will most likely be the best dunk of the year as a result.
2. Gerald Green vs. the Houston Rockets (3/10/12)
Although Green did not leap over anyone, this windmill alley-oop was better simply because of the execution. Not only did Green generate a tremendous amount of power on the dunk, but he also got his head above the rim. I have seen players get dunked over before but I have never seen someone get that high in the air. It is one of the best dunks of all-time for that reason.
1. DeAndre Jordan vs. the Detroit Pistons (3/10/13)
I personally believe that posterizing someone is occasionally better than jumping over someone. This was one of these occasions. In my opinion, this is the best dunk in NBA history. This was not simply a poster. It was a murder. I still do not know what Knight was thinking when he tried to block that lob but he paid the ultimate price for doing so. This was the most vicious poster dunk because of the sheer force that Jordan generated. Jordan’s dunk was ferocious and the way that Knight fell backwards made the dunk that much better.