All of those performances had been spectacular and deserve point out, however one title is at all times neglected among the many all time greats: Jason Richardson. By no means an NBA star, a whole lot of followers may keep in mind Richardson for the latter half of his profession when he grew to become a deadeye 3-point shooter, however early in his profession when he was on the Warriors he was the NBA’s best excessive flyers. A spectacular in-game dunker that might pull out a 360 dunk mid-game when the possibility afforded itself, he additionally had one of many best dunk contest runs ever from 2002-2004. Of that run, his 2003 dunk contest win stands above the remaining.
Richardson burst on to the dunk contest scene in 2002, however his efficiency was largely overshadowed by the NBA’s introduction of the disastrous “dunk wheel” meant to harken again to dunkers of years previous. It was a failure of an concept and for Richardson actually solely restricted his creativity. He received that 12 months however in 2003, unshackled, he was in a position to pull out all of the stops.
Under, we’ll check out all 4 of his dunks from his successful efficiency in one of many best dunking shows the competition has ever seen.
What made Richardson’s dunks so spectacular is how artistic he might be off the bounce. We’ll see gamers try and do related immediately in a whole lot of contests the place they attempt to time themselves with the ball, however often, it’s just a bit further theatrics to a dunk that might have been simply as spectacular in a standard scenario. Richardson, nevertheless, would time these slams in a approach to showcase simply how excessive he may go up, seize the ball, and throw it again down. His opening windmill in 2003 is a good instance of that.
He catches the ball on the peak of its bounce whereas he’s nonetheless rising into the air, he completes the windmill along with his head above the rim, and since it’s timed so completely he’s ready so as to add the ability essential to make it stand out. This opening is how he set the tone for what his evening was going to be.
Going off the bounce goes to be a theme for Richardson. It’s the best way he greatest showcased how a lot air he was getting with out utilizing a prop or leaping over somebody and since he timed them so completely it at all times appeared like he was skying to the rim, however he was additionally simply so quick.
Richardson’s 360 dunk is over earlier than you even notice it. He spins so quick that he has further time to cock the ball again and clutch it earlier than he powerfully throws it down. The one mark I’d take away from that is that he technically doesn’t full the 360 earlier than the dunk is full, however that is additionally, in my view, his weakest dunk of the evening.
You see Richardson actually has to increase to finish this, however that’s a part of why the dunk is cool. He’s in a position to deliver out that extension with out sacrificing energy. Most guys do that dunk and it’s cool, however the end is weak. Hearken to the rim rattle after he’s completed! The judges had been far too spoiled by what Carter did in 2000 to understand simply how tough this dunk is.
Between the legs reverse
The very best dunk of Richardson’s total contest profession. The between the legs reverse, on the baseline, is among the most spectacular athletic feats you’ll witness. So far, no one had actually executed one thing like this and like the remaining, he as soon as once more did it off the bounce. Take a look at him catch the ball at its highest level, shortly deliver it under, after which end with one hand whereas his head was nonetheless at rim degree. There are simply so few
Even to at the present time, nobody has executed this particular dunk in addition to Richardson did it. Which, contemplating what number of athletic guys there are within the NBA, must be spectacular in itself. It’s like a dunk that solely Richardson can carry out. He even introduced a variation of it in 2004 when he went off the glass to himself.
Spectacular, however nonetheless not as cool because the one on the baseline. What made Richardson particular as a jumper is that it appeared like he was in a position to final within the air simply so long as he wanted to. Sometimes you’ll be able to classify a dunker’s athleticism into two areas. There are the floaters like Zach Lavine and Michael Jordan. These guys simply effortlessly fly via the air as they bounce with ease. Then there are the ability dunkers Nique and Gordon. Guys which may not float, however they rise up there after which end with an authority that shakes your complete enviornment. Richardson was someway a combination between the 2. A man that made leaping look simple however nonetheless completed with the ferocity of an influence dunker. It’s only a disgrace that NBA historical past doesn’t keep in mind him the identical approach it remembers different unbelievable dunkers. His second got here too quickly after Carter, and whereas Richardson’s doesn’t stand out in the identical methods, it’s nonetheless a efficiency value remembering.