Video of LeBron’s “RIP Jason Terry” Dunk vs DeAndre Jordan’s Slam On Brandon Knight: Which Was The Best Dunk?
(Photo : Reuters) Whose dunk was better--LeBron James, left, or DeAndre Jordan, right?
The slam dunk is one of the most thrilling parts of the game of basketball--a sensational move that thrills crowds, fires up teammates…and sometimes humiliates an opposing team.
All of the above can apply to two of the NBA’s most talked-about dunks in the last week—LeBron James’s dunk Monday night that had Twitter reading Jason Terry’s last rites and the L.A. Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan’s dominating slam that posterized Detroit Pistons rookie Brandon Knight.
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James caused a sensation—and got a technical foul—thanks to another sensational slam dunk off the assist from Mario Chalmers Monday night as the Heat made history with their record-23rd win in a row against the Boston Celtics.
The dunk came in the second quarter with 5:27 left in the second quarter. As Terry tried to get to halfcourt, Heat star Dwayne Wade picked Terry’s pocket for the steal, then found James, who passed it to Chalmers, who threw it to Norris Cole, who soft-served it to James for the emphatic slam just as a valiant Terry tried to defend the hoop in vain.
However, as James threw it down over the stumbling Terry, the resident King of the NBA loomed tauntingly over Terry, causing the refs to whistle for a technical foul.
In the end, it was to no detriment, as the Heat, now 52-14, still pulled off the 105-103 win in a hard-fought battle with their bitter rival Boston—a victory that was almost as talked-about as James’ crushing slam over Terry.
The only dunk that could compare came only eight days earlier in a Clippers game against the Pistons, courtesy of Jordan.
Off a lob from the sensational Chris Paul, the 2013 MVP of the NBA All-Star Game, Jordan sprung to the hole in a gravity-defying leap as he slammed down a rim-rattling slam over Knight, who was sent crashing to the ground from his effort to stop Jordan.
Both were jarring slams and both were talked about by fans long after the game was over. However, the question remains: which one was the best dunk? Let’s break it down by the basics.
The style on James’ dunk comes more in the poetry-in-motion style passing. Wade goes behind the back to Chalmers, who passed it to Cole, who serves it up nice and easy like a beach volleyball to James for the finish. There is power behind James’ slam, but not any real flare like his usual slams that he receives off connecting with Wade.
By contrast, Jordan’s dunk has height, elevation and a stylistic finish. Jordan, one of the better dunkers in the league, has about a half-second longer to make sure he finishes emphatically, as well. And Paul’s lob over two defenders in traffic, while moving, adds flair to the dunk.
James is one of the strongest players in the league. An Adonis-like physique at his disposal, James is capable of amazing athletic feats. And on his dunk Monday night, he showcased that by coming in with such speed and finishing with such power that he rattled the backboard and sent Terry careening to the floor.
Jordan’s slam had plenty of power, but in the leaping ability. He didn’t quite shake the rim like James, though part of that was because he had more traffic to work through that James, certainly through no lack of power that the 6’11”, 265 pound Jordan has. And the momentum he carried was certainly enough to floor Knight. However, the emphatic strength that James used gives the Heat star the edge in this.
To be fair, both men are extraordinary athletes, and both were athletic in their own ways. However, James has set the bar so high in his previous dunks in-game with Wade that it works against him. There wasn’t any extraordinary flair in his jump or great hang time. It was a dunk where the momentum of his crashing the rim worked more to his advantage. Had Terry kept his footing, no way are fans talking about this dunk now.
Even if Knight had kept his footing, the amazing vertical leap that Jordan displayed off the lob from Paul was an amazing feat of athletic prowess. He literally went above the rim, soaring through the air for his mid-air slam. No offense to the King, but Jordan takes this one hands down.