What is the definition of dunk in basketball?
1. A dunk is a method of scoring in basketball when a player puts the ball directly in the basket using one or both of their hands.
What is a dunk in basketball?
A dunk, also known as a slam dunk, occurs when a basketball player puts the ball into the net after controlling the ball above the horizontal plane extending from the rim. To dunk, a player leaps up into the air toward the basket and then puts the ball into the net.
The fact that the ball is directly placed into the net by the player sets it apart from other basketball scoring attempts which involve shooting the ball toward the net from further away or completing a layup.
Is a slam dunk two points?
A slam dunk is worth two points because it is scored from inside the three-point line.
Slam dunk techniques
There are many types of dunks which are differentiated by how the player approaches the basket and the way they put the ball into the net. The following are some of the most common and recognizable slam dunking techniques.
The windmill dunk is named for the arced motion of the player’s arm as they bring the ball up to the hoop. When a player does a windmill dunk, they approach the net holding the ball near or below their waist. As they jump up, they move their arm in a windmill motion, bringing the ball up and around their body in a smooth arc toward the hoop and then slamming the ball into the net.
The windmill dunk can be done with one or both hands. In a variation called “rock the cradle,” a windmill dunk is performed with the ball gripped between the palm and wrist. Dominique Wilkins was one of the players best known for their windmill dunk.
The tomahawk dunk is performed by moving the ball behind the player’s head, then bringing the ball straight over the head and slamming it into the net. This is similar to the way a tomahawk would be used in a chopping motion. Tomahawk dunks can be done with one or two hands, with the two-handed version sometimes referred to as a backscratcher.
One of the benefits of a tomahawk dunk is that the ball is held very securely during the jump, especially when two hands are used to hold the ball. Additionally, it doesn’t require as much height when jumping, so players who aren’t the tallest on the team may be able to achieve a dunk using this approach. Because of its relative ease compared to other dunks, skilled players have created variations on the classic tomahawk dunk. For example, a 360-degree spin can be completed prior to slamming the ball into the net.
The alley-oop dunk takes its name from a specific type of offensive play used in basketball games. This type of dunk requires one teammate to pass the ball toward the backboard, where another teammate retrieves it in mid-air before immediately slamming it into the net. This strategy is sometimes used as part of a planned play when there is very little time left on the shot clock and the offensive team has an opportunity to make an in-bounds pass.
The term “alley oop” is a variation on “allez hop,” a French phrase which loosely translates to “let’s go” or “off you go.” Some of the first players to do alley-oop dunks in competition include K.C. Jones, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Johnny Green. Later, the move was widely popularized by Magic Johnson and Greg Kelser.
Elbow hang dunk
One of the flashier types of slam dunks is the elbow hang dunk. A player starts by approaching the basket with a high leap that brings their forearm above the rim. As they slam the ball into the net, they hook their elbow pit onto the rim and hang on it for a short period of time after scoring. Some of the other names for this type of dunk include the elbow hook, cookie jar and honey dip.
The elbow hang can be combined with other dunking techniques, such as the windmill dunk. Vince Carter was the first to perform the elbow hang dunk in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 2000. Kobe Bryant had also performed the dunk in 1998 in an exhibition game.
Double clutch dunk
Also known as the double pump dunk, this technique starts by holding the ball in both hands as the player jumps up toward the basket. The player’s arms are outstretched at first, but then they bring the ball back toward their body momentarily before again extending their arms to complete the dunk.
The movement of the ball in this type of dunk helps to evade defenders. The pumping action of the arms allows the player to move the ball around any opponents who are trying to block their shot or knock the ball out of their hands.
Between the legs dunk
The between the legs dunk is another showy dunk that elicits big reactions from the crowd. After the player runs or dribbles toward the net, they leap up and raise one knee slightly. While in the air, the player passes the ball under the raised leg from one hand to the other before immediately bring the ball up and slamming it into the net.
Isaiah Rider was well-known for this dunk, which he used in the 1994 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He referred to it as “The East Bay Funk Dunk,” but it has also become known as the “Rider dunk.” This type of dunk is especially difficult to perform in actual basketball games, but it’s often featured in slam dunk competitions. A popular variation involves the player ending their jump facing away from the basket to complete a reverse dunk.
Free throw line dunk
This type of dunk involves jumping off the court on or near the free throw line, which is approximately 15 feet away from the basket. It’s also known as the foul line dunk for this reason. The dunk can be executed with one or both hands, and other variations can be made depending on the skill of the player. The most important requirement this dunk is jumping ability, since it takes a great deal of power to launch oneself from that point on the court and reach the basket at a height where a dunk can be made.
A reverse dunk describes any slam dunk in which the player ends their shot facing away from the basket. The ball is usually placed into the basket behind the player’s head.
In a 360 dunk, the player makes a complete 360-degree turn while in the air before putting the ball into the net. This is commonly used as a variation on the tomahawk dunk or windmill dunk, though it can be combined with other dunking techniques as well.
A putback dunk, also known as a putback jam, is a type of dunk that’s played off of a rebound. After a shot is missed, an offensive player rebounds the ball and immediately dunks in the same motion to complete a putback dunk. This move is similar to a tip-in but with more intention and force.
History of the slam dunk in basketball
Joe Fortenberry made one of the first dunks in competition. In 1936, he dunked the ball while playing for an amateur team known as the McPherson Globe Refiners.
The dunk first began to be used regularly by basketball players during the 1940s and ‘50s when 7-foot Olympic center Bob Kurland started to implement the high-percentage shot during his games.
Who dunked first in the NBA?
It’s unclear who made the first dunk ever in the National Basketball Association (NBA). However, the two players who played the biggest role in popularizing the move at the professional level were Boston Celtics center Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, who played center for the Philadelphia / San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.
During the 1950s and ‘60s, both Russell and Chamberlain regularly dunked the ball in competition. Chamberlain was especially successful at this method of scoring, which influenced the NCAA’s eventual ban on dunking.
Who dunked first in the WNBA?
Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks scored the first dunk ever in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The dunk took place on July 30, 2002 in a game against the Miami Sol.
Who are the best dunkers in NBA history?
The NBA has had many players capable of dunking, but certain individuals stand out not only for the frequency of their dunks, but also the skill and complexity involved. The following are some of the most memorable dunkers in the league’s history.
Standing at 6 feet 8 inches, Dominique Wilkins performed some of the most impressive and acrobatic dunks ever seen in the NBA. His nickname of “The Human Highlight Film” originated from these memorable, replay-worthy stunts. Wilkins won two NBA Slam Dunk Contests in 1985 and 1990. His signature dunk was a forceful windmill dunk, and his creativity and explosiveness help him power past his opponents and leap up to the rim seemingly with ease. He primarily played for the Atlanta Hawks during his career.
Michael Jordan, who played for the Chicago Bulls for most of his career, is perhaps the most iconic dunker of all time. His likeness was captured in the famous “Jumpman” logo, and his ability to dunk from the free throw line seemed almost superhuman at times. Although he was a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner in 1987 and 1988, Jordan wasn’t just known for his dunking. He’s considered one of the best all-around players in league history and holds the record for the most Finals MVP awards earned during the NBA playoffs with a total of six.
Often known by his nickname of “Vinsanity,” Vince Carter was one of the most dominant players in the NBA for much of his 22-season career. His leaping ability and impressive slam dunks made him a fan favorite as he played for a variety of teams over the years, including the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies. One of his most memorable dunks was a 360 windmill dunk performed at the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk content, which he won. Carter also achieved forceful dunks in traffic, and was often capable of dunking over taller players.
Shaquille O’Neal’s prowess on the court was well known before he was even out of college, and he was the first pick in the first round of the 1992 NBA draft. He went on to become one of the most prolific dunkers of all time while playing for a number of teams, including the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns. His 7-foot-1-inch frame towered over his opponents, including most fellow big men. His dunks were so powerful that he broke the steel backboard supports twice in his first NBA season, which the league addressed by increasing the brace strength the following season. O’Neal’s dunking ability also helped him earn a career field goal accuracy of .582, which is the second highest of all time.
For many fans, Kobe Bryant served as a reminder of Michael Jordan’s dominance in the sport. In addition to being an incredibly skilled all-around player, he was exciting to watch and could make dunking look easy and artful. Playing for the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire 20-year career, he was a five-time NBA champion. In 1997, Bryant became the youngest player to ever win the Slam Dunk Contest at only 18 years old, and he was one of the first players recorded doing an elbow hang dunk. After his death in 2020, the NBA All-Star MVP Award was renamed in his honor.
Top dunkers currently in the NBA
There are a number of current players who stand out in the league for their dunking abilities, including:
- LeBron James
- Aaron Gordon
- Ja Morant
- Derrick Jones Jr.
- Zach LaVine
- Zion Williamson
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Russell Westbrook
What is Michael Jordan’s dunk called?
Michael Jordan used a number of different slam dunk techniques in his career. He was so successful at achieving impressive heights during his dunks that he earned the nicknames “Air Jordan” and “His Airness.” A couple of the dunks for which he is best known are:
- The Leaner: Jordan was known for his leaner dunk, in which his body leaned forward so that it was not perpendicular to the floor when the dunk was made. His leaning windmill slam dunk in the 1987 Slam Dunk Contest is one of the most memorable examples of this dunk style.
- Air Jordan: Jordan’s nickname came from this legendary dunk which features an impressive amount of hang time. Best remembered from the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest, Jordan took off from the free throw line and soared forward to dunk the ball.
What is the NBA Slam Dunk Contest?
The Slam Dunk Contest is part of the NBA All-Star Weekend, which is held each year in February during the middle of the league’s regular season. The first of these contests was held by the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1976, with Julius Erving of the New York Nets crowned the winner.
Later that year, the ABA merged with the NBA, and the first NBA Slam Dunk Contest was held over the course of the 1976-77 season. However, the one-day event as it is known today didn’t return until 1984, when it was introduced as part of the All-Star Weekend.
Why was the slam dunk banned in college basketball?
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) banned dunking in 1967 along with high school leagues. At this time, some felt that dunking was not in the spirit of the game and gave some players an unfair advantage. There were also concerns about player safety, especially since particularly forceful dunks could shatter the backboard.
Leading up to the ban, players who could easily dunk were dominating games. The most notable of these players was Lew Alcindor, who would later change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At 7 feet 2 inches, this center for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) became the league’s star player. After his first season with UCLA, dunking was not longer permitted, causing some to refer to the ban as the “Lew Alcindor rule.”
Many people also suspected that the ban was racially motivated. The previous year, an all-Black starting lineup for Texas Western College defeated an all-white starting five from Kentucky to win the NCAA championship. In addition, many of the players who were dunking regularly in games were Black.
In 1976, the NCAA revoked the ban. College players could dunk again, which added more excitement to games as seen at the professional level.
What are breakaway rims?
A breakaway rim is a type of basketball rim which is designed with a hinge to help prevent shattered backboards. Breakaway rims have some give that allows them to bend downward instead of snapping off or shattering the backboard if the player puts pressure on them during a slam dunk.
The first breakaway rim was created by Arthur Erhat in 1976. At the time, he called his invention “The Rebounder.” This rim was first used in the 1978 NCAA Final Four. The NBA incorporated breakaway rims throughout the league in the 1981-82 season.
What is the best way to dunk?
For a beginner, the best way to dunk is to use a simple approach. Tricky techniques can be difficult for someone without exceptional athletic abilities and height that is well above average. Instead, focusing on jumping power is the best way to dunk. Some of the techniques to learn how to dunk include:
- Approach from your weak side. If you’re right-handed, approach the basket from the left, or vice versa.
- Jump off of one foot. Jump off of your left foot if you’re right-handed, or vice versa, for better balance in your leap.
- Work on timing. Practice the jump without the ball to get the timing down and figure out how much acceleration you need to get your vertical leap high enough.
- Use two hands if necessary. Bring your other hand to the ball as you jump if you struggle with palming the ball.
- Bring the rim down. Start by lowering the rim height until you can dunk, then raise it back up incrementally as you improve your technique.
- Land carefully. Don’t forget to protect yourself as you land. Bend your legs to cushion the landing, and try to touch both feet to the ground at the same time.
Can a 5-foot-9 person dunk?
Tall players are not the only ones capable of dunking. In fact, Spud Webb, a point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, was one of the shortest players in NBA history at just 5 feet 6 inches tall, yet he won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1986. In that competition, he defeated his Hawks teammate Dominique Wilkins, who stood at 6 feet 8 inches.
In 2006, Webb trained point guard Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks for the Slam Dunk Contest. Although Robinson stands at just 5 feet 9 inches, he won the event that year. He won again in 2009 and 2010, making him the first dunker to become a three-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion.
What is the Slam Dunk video game?
There have been a few video games that include the term “slam dunk” in the title. In 1993, Super Slam Dunk was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. There have also been a number of video games released based on the Slam Dunk Japanese sports manga series by Takehiko Inoue, including Slam Dunk 2 for the Game Boy and a Slam Dunk coin-operated arcade game.
What is a slam dunk in slang?
The term “slam dunk” is often used colloquially to describe something that’s easy to accomplish or is a guaranteed success. This is similar to how the word “layup” is sometimes applied in everyday speech since both types of shots in basketball are hard to miss and generally have a high rate of success.
When used alone, the term “dunk” may be used to describe a situation in which a person outperforms or humiliates an opponent.
Examples of how dunk is used in commentary
Sport the term is used
Also known as:
3. Slam Dunk
4. Throw it down