Top 20 Dunking Point Guards Ever (Milk Carton Edition)
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Dime Magazine released a pretty cool Top 20 list called Top 20 Dunking Point Guards. For the most part I like the selections and rankings but my biggest issue with the list is placing Penny Hardaway at #12. Without hesitation, I would rank him in the top 4 especially if Spud Webb is ranked #5 (I wouldn’t have the 5’7″ Hawk in my top 15).
First let’s show the list.
- Steve Francis
- Russell Westbrook
- Robert Pack
- Derrick Rose
- Spud Webb
- Baron Davis
- Kevin Johnson
- Nate Robinson
- John Wall
- Eric Bledsoe
- Allen Iverson
- Penny Hardaway
- Dee Brown
- Kenny Smith
- Isiah Thomas
- Stephon Marbury
- Jeff Teague
- Rajon Rondo
- Smush Parker
- Deron Williams
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Back to my issue, Penny probably has the most poster dunks out of all of the guards on this list and in the early to mid 90s very few players were catching more oops than him and out of those few only a couple (Shawn Kemp, Scottie Pippen, Robert Horry, Webber ) were throwing down reverse alley-oops like the 6’7″ point guard. Penny is also the only person on this list that got a lot of dunks off post moves and just as many dunks off 1 foot as 2. Considering those facts, he deserves to be much higher on this list.
The second big issue with the list were the milk carton omissions that I would have taken over guys like Kenny Smith, Smush Parker, and especially Isiah Thomas who doesn’t belong on the list despite a couple of nice dunks that people keep showing from a few old NBA VHS tapes.
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The biggest omission was Penny’s teammate in Orlando, Darrel Armstrong. Armstrong was in the Honorable Mention sentence alongside Chris Jackson (who never even dunked in a NBA game) but Darrell easily belongs in the top 20.
The king of chase down blocks before King James became the king of it, Armstrong was the first 5’11” player in the NBA that I saw catch an alley-oop or do a reverse baseline dunk. Back then, the only other point guard at that height that was even dunking in games was 5’11” Terrell Brandon but TB wasn’t catching 1 hand alley-oops off the bounce.
Everybody, including Dime, will bring up his performance in the NBA dunk contest. What people don’t know was he was injured and taken off the IL a week before the dunk contest just so he could participate and entertain Shaq and Penny who pushed him into the contest. That was also during the time when the dunk contest format was a 90 second timed routine and with the time running out and no hope of advancing to the next round, Darrel just threw up a layup at the buzzer. The perception built over time is that Darrell actually did a layup for a dunk attempt.
If you wanted to put a 90’s Orlando Magic point on the honorable mention list it should be Litterial Green.
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Another more recent 5’11” little man with explosive hops (pre-injuries) was TJ Ford and living in Sugarland, TX I knew about TJ’s hops before most of his McDonald’s All-American teammates. TJ didn’t have many dunks in the NBA but just as many Thomas & Stephon Marbury (should have been placed in front of Thomas & Kenny Smith) and his rebound dunk on the Caveman still stands out.
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I thought about a few other guys that I might have put on this list including Magic Johnson, who threw down more dunks on defenders than most of the bottom half of the list, Duane Cooper, Randy Brown but the only player that I can say truly belongs on this list that is missing is Keyon Dooling. As a member of the “Knuckleheads” with Q, Corey, Odom and Darius Miles, Dooling was delivering more memorable facials than most of his more popular high flying teammates during his early Clippers days. He bounced around the league after that but still occasionally reminded a defender of his bounce that was impressive enough to bounce a few guys off that top 20 list.
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