Monday, October 2

Greatest Dunkers

In light of the Sonics’ celebration of their 40th season, we thought we’d do our part to honor the heroic history of the Sonics, such as it were. Today’s entry highlights the 5 greatest dunkers in Sonic history, counted down, Casey Kasem-style.

Keep in mind that I’ve only been following the Sonics since the early 1980s, so apologies to fans of Spencer Haywood, Bob Rule, etc., as I just never saw them in action.

What? Derrick McKey? Pete, I thought this list was greatest dunkers, not most confounding small forwards!

Well, gentle reader, let me educate you on the gloriousness that was Derrick McKey in his young prime. Tell me, what other Sonic bumped his chin on the rim? I regret that YouTube is barren of evidence, but, trust me, McKey’s leaping ability had few equals.

What McKey had in grace, the X-Man had in power. Whether it was an offensive board put-back slam, or the cruising-in-from-the-wing fast break tomahawk, X was arguably the most powerful dunker in Sonic history (non-Olden Polynice Division). My favorite Sonic dunk will always be his alley-oop against the Lakers in January 1986 on CBS.

You have to respect the only man to win the Slam Dunk competition in a Sonic jersey. D-Mase’s speed and agility meant any number of beautiful, under-the-basket wraparounds, fast-break sprints, and just dozens of fantastic jams. His between-the-legs, show-it-left-and-right move sealed the deal for his 2001 Slam Dunk title at the All Star Game.

Ah, the Statue of Liberty: Seldom imitated, never duplicated. A forgettable career, but a remarkable feat, Stansbury was the true winner of the 1987 Dunk Contest, not the bald guy from Chicago. Stansbury’s dunk remains a thing of beauty, from the takeoff to the clenched fist at the end. I think everyone in my high school gym class at the time spent the next week trying to imitate that move.

There are dunkers, and there is The Man. The fantastic dash through the Knicks in the middle of traffic ... the unbelievable dunk and quasi-kung fu move against the Warriors in the playoffs. Like ice cream, everyone has their personal favorite, but we all can agree that Shawn Kemp has no equal when it comes to dunking greatness.
Honorable Mention: Tom Chambers, James Bailey, Ruben Patterson, Sedale Threatt.


Anonymous said...

I'm down with Reign Man as #1 - kind of a no-brainer. I think Chambers deserves to be on the list, though. He was in that competition with Stansbury if I remember right.

I gotta say - Derrick McKey? I guess you're remembering things I never saw.......

Anonymous said...

I'd have to throw an honorable mention to Kendall Gill, if anything for being the only Sonic with the nuts to dunk on Mutombo in the playoffs.

Also, in his very limited playing time, Chris King had some filthy dunks.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say Kendall GIll, too. He's definitely the greatest boxer-dunker in Sonic history.

One other nomination would be David Thompson - I know his halcyon days were pre-Seattle, but I'll bet he could still dunk when he played for the Sonics.

chunkstyle23 said...

Don't forget Jim Farmer for the honorable mention category. Dude brought his own funk to garbage time.

Anonymous said...

How about the worst dunker? I would nominate Ricky Pierce for that one ... I don't even know if he could touch the rim by the time he made it to Seattle.

Anonymous said...

All picks 1986 on.

Honorable mention: Tom Chambers -- always solid, but even though it was post-seattle his dunk on Marc Jackson is an all itme great.

Honorable mention: X-Man -- the man was as hard nosed as any player ever. and beat me 5-1 in a 1 on 1 game at the Sonics Seafirst 7' tall basketball camp.

5. Ruben Patterson: An a-hole on and off the floor, but the boy had ups and attitude. I'm shocked you've all forgotten so quickly.

4. Kendall Gill -- just a physical speciman, his elevation was graceful with great power for a 2guard.

3. D-McKey -- apparently i too remember things most forgot; McKey was a low intensity high talent player. Remember he was the only guy in the leauge with the athleticism to cover Tim Hardaway, Michael Jordan AND premier big men (albeit temporarily.) Really an under-rated leaper.

2. Desmond Mason -- maybe the most fun to just sit back and watch and see what happens. He had that Dominique-Wilkins-Rebound-Dunkability that left your jaw down and your gum on the floor.

1. Shawn Kemp -- that McD's game dunk was wicked, and I'd never seen it before. Simply the greatest. Maybe in league history.

ricky pierce went to walla walla c.c. and was a wicked dunker there. you have to remember by the time he was with us he was in the twilight of his career. he dunked on my h.s. coach at W.W. and talked smack, "That's on you, white boy!" Heh heh.

and a final note-- does anybody else remember the hops GP had in college? He used to catch oops and the only dunk i ever remember him getting in the NBA was the "on Jordan" one.

Anonymous said...

(i meant to add "by dunking 5 straight times after i opened with a score" vs. X at the Hoops Camp.)

Anybody else remember those camps? They were always a good time, even if there was NO instruction.

Zach said...

My favorite Desmond Mason dunk is still this putback against the Hornets to win the game in 2002...utter madness

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on training camp?



Anonymous said...

i miss bubydudy

Anonymous said...


Thursday night (tomorrow) there is a SAVE OUR SONICS & STORM rally at Goofy’s Sports Bar (8519 15th Ave NW; Seattle, WA 98117) from 5pm to 7pm. There will be FREE FOOD and DRINK SPECIALS.

SOS&S will also be raffling off a number of Sonics merchandise including:
-Two tickets to Opening Night against Brandon Roy and the Blazers!
-Sonics T-shirt autographed by Ray Allen!
-Sonics poster autographed by Luke, Nick and Ray!
-A SOS&S long sleeved shirt signed by Slick Watts!

Slick Watts is planning on attending our rally for any fans who would like to meet him. Slick Watts is a Sonics Legend and the Director of Community Relations for Save Our Sonics and Storm.

After the rally, everyone is welcome to come to Councilmember Nick Licata’s Q&A session located at Olympic View Elementary. Interested parties who cannot attend the earlier rally are still encouraged to attend this meeting and show their support.

What: Save Our Sonics and Storm Fan Rally
When: Thursday, October 12, 5pm
Where: Goofy’s Sports Bar (8519 15th Ave NW; Seattle, WA 98117)

What: Open Round Table with Councilman Nick Licata
When: Thursday, October 12, 7-8:30pm
Where: Olympic View Elementary (504 NE 95th St; Seattle , WA 98133)
Why: Because you want to your elected representatives to keep the teams here!

For additional information please contact or Media with interview requests may also contact Brian Robinson via phone at 206-349-6447.

Anonymous said...

If nobody is going to post anything about this years team, could we at least get a new Fortson comic?