I always considered Isiah Thomas the first player to be great at throwing alley-oops: off the glass oops, off the bounce oops, half court, missionary (I’m not sure if that’s one of them) or any other way of doing it.
What made the execution of these oops so impressive and/or difficult is the fact that he played most of his career with guys that would never be mistaken for “high flyers.” Actually, Isiah Thomas probably had the most hops on all of his rosters but because he didn’t show them that often, he rarely gets credited for having them. Even 5’10” Terrell Brandon gets name dropped more when discussing old school short guys with hops and he doesn’t have a memorable dunk to his name.
Thomas had two memorable “got hops” moments that I can recall. One was winning a jumpball against 7’0″ Bulls center Will Perdue and the other is a tip-dunk on the Chief, 7’0″ Robert Parish.
Unfortunately, there are not many Thomas dunks available on YouTube. There is a two-hand dunk at the 50-second mark of the following video. After watching it, make sure you watch the rest of the video to be reminded of how sick his overall game was.