With the Blazers currently mired in a seven game losing streak and their playoff hopes fading away rapidly, I thought I would write about something that all Blazer fans can get on board with; really awesome dunks. There have been quite a few notable dunks from the past five seasons or so that I can vividly recall, and probably more that I can’t. Some of them made me jump to my feet, and others made me laugh in stunned disbelief.
One of the dunks that had me laughing in stunned disbelief was the Andre Miller dunk against the Denver Nuggets in March of 2010. I am sure most Blazer fans can relate. At the time of the dunk, I wasn’t aware that Miller was even capable of leaping more than six inches. He hadn’t dunked in a game in over three years. But on that night, he decided to make a statement against the Nuggets, who had let him go the previous season. Here is a link to the dunk for all of those who haven’t witnessed it, or for those who to see it a few times to believe it. Oh, and try to forget that Miller travels as he gathers for the dunk; it takes away from the hilarity a little bit.
Another dunk that I will never forget is Juwan Howard’s dunk over Chris Kaman during the 2010 season. I remember falling out of my chair and crying from laughter after this one. Juwan Howard was 37 years old and out of nowhere, he throws down a posterizer in Chris Kaman’s grill. I think the age factor is what makes this one so hilarious and the fact that the 6-foot-9 Howard dunked on the 7-footer Kaman (who is also about 10 years younger than Howard). Here is the link to the dunk.
Okay, so now we have the hilarious ones out of the way. Now it’s time to get serious. By now most Blazer fans should be familiar with JJ Hickson’s incredible athleticism and dunking ability. But just in case, I’ll put up a couple of links to what I think are JJ’s best dunks in a Blazer uniform. Remember how terrible last season was? We started off hot, and then sank like a stone to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. One of the few bright spots from last season was the midseason acquisition of JJ Hickson. I remember thinking “woopdy-freakin-doo” when I heard that we had signed him. There wasn’t much reason to be excited, as he had been buried on the bench in Sacramento. Hickson turned out to be a diamond in the rough. His best performance of that season, by far, was a nationally televised game against the Clippers on March 30th, when he exploded for 29 points and 13 rebounds, as well as a couple of monster jams. One of those jams was over DeAndre Jordan, one of the most athletic and defensive-minded centers in the NBA. Even the TNT crew couldn’t get enough of this one. I especially love Hickson’s menacing scowl afterwards. Classic JJ. Here is another ridiculous slam by Hickson that may be even better than the previous one.
Another Blazer who has surprisingly become a fearless dunker is Nic Batum. Every once in a while he glides ever so smoothly to the rim and throws it down. One Batum dunk that I remember specifically is his posterization of Pau Gasol back when he was a rookie in 2009. Batum started for the Blazers as a rookie, and I remember how exciting it was to see a Blazer rookie throw it down in Pau Gasol’s turkeyesque mug. Here is the link to that dunk.
My favorite dunk from the past five seasons, however, has to go to Brandon Roy. It is only fitting that Roy has the best Blazer dunk. It also happened in a game against the Clippers, only this time during the 2009 season. There are several factors at play that make this dunk so awesome. First, Eric Gordon had just posterized LaMarcus Aldridge a few possessions prior to Roy’s dunk with a pretty nasty jam of his own. The Clippers were pumped up and simply playing with more energy than the Blazers, especially after Gordon’s dunk. So what does Brandon Roy do? In typical heroic fashion, Roy avenges LaMarcus Aldridge by one-upping (at the very least) Eric Gordon’s dunk. Roy looked nonchalant, hovering around the perimeter, when all of the sudden, he pump fakes, explodes to the rim and completely embarrasses the 7-foot-1, 245 pound Cheikh Samb. A short time after the incident, Samb was released by the Clippers, essentially ending his short-lived NBA career.
I am sure there are a lot of Blazer dunks that belong on here, but I only listed the dunks that I remember the most vividly. Hopefully a Blazer throws down another memory-etching jam soon to take our minds off of this rapidly unraveling season. For comedic purposes, I hope that Joel Freeland or Victor Claver can somehow find a way to dunk on someone in the next month. That would guarantee a spot in my memory bank.
Joe Rampone is on Twitter. Follow him at @JoeRampone