Friday, January 23

Tale of the Tube: LeBron vs. Dominique

Last week as we watched LeBron do his thing on the court against New Orleans, Xtra Medium and I entered into a debate after LeBron threw one down. While there is no doubt Bron Bron is operating now on a level all by himself, I contended that a man from my youth, Dominique Wilkins was the superior dunker. This was not to say that James cannot throw it down as well as just about anyone, but in my recollection Nique was as graceful yet violent dunker the league had seen. This was without having reviewed any footage, it was just off memory of what I saw as a kid and the Super Slam of the NBA tape I had watched more times than I could count. In my opinion at that time, there was no question it was Wilkins, the man who graced the back of my bedroom door on a poster I received inside a Kudos box. Man, I used to love me some Kudos. However, after viewing extensive footage of both dunkers, it is truly a close call. Since we have to take out dunk contests since LeBron it appears will never do one, the incredible Nique contest footage will have to be eliminated from consideration.

Let's look at the vitals before we go to the You Tube tape.


The King/King James-----Nickname-----The Human Highlight Reel

Akron, Ohio-------------Birthplace---------------Paris, France


250(more like 260-270)----------Weight------------------ 230

23---------------------Jersey Number-----------------------21

Cavs(until 2010?)-------------Main Team-------------------Hawks

Lost in the Finals------Furtherst Playoff progression-----Lost in Eastern Semis

2008-----------------League Scoring Champion----------------1986

Cockback Tomahawk---------------Signature Dunk-----------------Windmill

Kobe-------------------Biggest Rival------------------------Michael

43------------Points in a losing Game 7 to Celtics-------------47

Now we turn to the true tale of the tube. There are various videos displaying the fantastic dunks of both players, but in the interest of balance I chose the NBA TV top ten for each. There are some left off of Nique's catalog which include the one-handed putback from the Super Slam's video which made Tim Hardaway say, "You see that, you be like Gawd!" and the one-handed alley-oop where he rose over the defender but it does show what he brought to the table. Also intersting is that Lebron's top ten has two instances of players trying to take a charge or unwilling to go up and challenge the shot, there certainly was more willingness for players to go for the block 20 years ago as opposed to today where players are more afraid of getting "posterized" or showing up on the bad end of a Sportscenter highlight than contest a shot.

Bron Bron has some great dunks though, and some I had either only seen once or twice or had forgotten about including a throwdown on Rasheed. It is amazing that some of their dunks do look incredibly similar. Wilkins to me gets the edge by the slimmest of margins and his facial served up on Larry Byrd is priceless.

First we have LeBron's top ten:

Here is Dominique's:

Tough call, feel free to give us your opinion.


Taylor said...

I hope this wasn't a competition for best dunker because if so you can have them both...I'll take Vince (Air Canada not Amtrak version).

He was more creative in the air than Lebron ever has been and put on my second favorite dunk contest of all time (Dwight Howard). His two handed dunk from a foot inside the free throw line I always thought was underrated.

Some people forget how high he used to go and that's why God gave us YouTube

Cleet said...

It's not for best dunker in the NBA. I said the argument stemmed from which of these two was better at dunking and it meant which was the better in-game dunker since LeBron will not do a contest. Vince is sick, we all know that even if he is the Julius Peppers of the NBA. Vince's dunk contest was the most ridiculous display ever, we can all agree on that even if the old dunk contests were more competitive. Sooo, T-Bird who do you think is the better dunker, between Bron and Nique?

Taylor said...

Based on your criteria I would have to go with Wilkins just because of creativity. I think Lebron throws it down as hard as anyone ever has and can make dunking from 13 feet look like me on a 6 foot rim but that's all he does.

You'll get the occasional reverse or homage to a former player but mostly James' dunks are all power. As you said, his tomahawk is his signature and as good as he is at it it's not creative. Wilkins had the windmill which looks a lot cooler so I go with Nique because of the flair.

Catfish said...

This from a guy that once got fired from Chotchkie's for not wearing enough flare.