The greatest dunk ever?

If you can't go around him . . . .

Last night, Blake Griffin, arguably the freakiest athlete in a league which has more freaky athletes than the goth olympics, threw down a dunk on Oklahoma City’s Kendrick Perkins that made even the manliest of men cringe.  This occurred mere hours after Lebron James had done something perhaps equally as disrespectful to Chicago’s John Lucas.  Basketball fans love dunks, it’s perhaps the most

exciting aspect of the game, but how do you assess them?  They are all only worth 2 points (arguably 3 if you pick up a foul, as Griffin did), so do you rank them based on their importance as game-changers?  The difficulty of the dunk itself?  The quality of the defender it was on?

Readers of The Courtside Collective, I invite you to put forward the case for your favourite dunk ever.  Is it Michael Jordan?  Lebron James?  Dwight Howard?  Dr J?  Matt McColgan?  Fearghal Toner in the final of Varsities 2005?

I will start off with my own personal favourite.  It is from arguably my least favourite NBA player, a man who seems content to see out his days as a chucker and a team-spirit destroyer – could there be a deeper, more perverse insult to the fine career of Steve Nash than to make him play on the same team as this guy? (actually don’t answer that, we’d be here all day debating the wrongs that have been cast upon Nash by the Suns organisation).  However, once upon a time, Vince Carter did this:


Andrew was something of a latecomer to the game of basketball, having given up rugby after leaving high school. Joining Edinburgh’s fabled Pentland Tigers, he quickly moved on to the East Lothian Peregrines in the Scottish national league before moving to Belfast where he played with Queens and then with Belfast Star. After a year in the superleague, he moved back to Scotland and played with the Scottish Rocks in the BBL. He “retired” (the McDermott rule for using the word “retire” instead of “stopped playing” does require you to have been paid to play, so technically he retired) and moved to Seattle where he began life as an academic, which currently sees him working at University College Dublin. He is a legitimate non-frontrunning Miami Heat fan, having taken up following the team in 2001.


  1. Niall McDermott

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    What about Joel’s in thet 2005 final? Baseline drop step, off two feet, facial!

  2. Andrew Sanders Post author

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    True, but I have to confess I can’t remember Joel’s last name so I thought I’d just reference Fearghal!

  3. Daryl Harkin

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    My favourite dunk was Vince Carter over Zo, until i seen Blake last night.

  4. Emmett Harkin

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    I’ll not forget Kevin Johnson over Hakeem Olajuwan in the ’94 Play Offs….

  5. Niall McDermott

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    In fairness to Fearghal he was “involved” in one of the best dunks i’ve seen in person – (BUSA’s 2005 i think) and Mantas’ dunk in the ESPN tournament was ridiculous!

    I like when John Starks dunks on Grant AND Jordan!

  6. Paul Dick

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    What about Mike Calos dunk to finish off the former lisburn scorpians when they lost to the almighty lisburn city basketball club?!?!

  7. Connor O'Dornan

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    Drew – did the guy not miss the dunk over Fearghal in 2005? Still, it might be the best missed dunk I have ever seen. What I remember most about that BUSAs was when Niall McDermott went off against England. He hit his third three in a quarter right in front of the English bench and the guy who was guarding him turned to his coach and said – “Coach, I didn’t know he could shoot!” Niall looked around at the English bench and said….”Well he knows now!!”

    What WAS Joel’s second name anyway? To be fair, neither his nor Fearghal’s dunks were the best thing about the 2005 Varsity Final. Where is Paddy Hegarty now by the way??

    One last thing, is it me or is TCC quickly turning into the Mike Calo Appreciation Forum? It is definitely nice to have Calo back playing organised basketball, the Ulster Premier League has been missing some quality trash talk! And no-one does it better than “Motor Mike” Calo!

  8. Andrew Sanders Post author

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    Joel Presti! He’s still in my email address book, even if he doesn’t seem to exist on facebook.

    BUSA 2005, was that in Walsall? I can’t remember that dunk, but I’m assuming it was the English team (aka the only team that can dunk at BUSAs). If it aint on youtube, it didn’t really happen!

    Mike Calo…I think we may have my next profile article there!

  9. Ross MacLeod

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    I think i’d have to raise you Shawn Kemp…

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