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Introduction to Christmas Dunks
Christmas is a time of giving, family, and, for NBA fans, some of the most memorable basketball moments of the year. With players often donning festive sneakers and packed arenas bringing the holiday cheer, the Christmas Day games are a tradition as important as stockings and gingerbread. Over the years, the games have given us some of the most electrifying plays, particularly those gravity-defying Christmas dunks. Here’s our take on the top 10 Christmas dunks in NBA history.
Michael Jordan’s Baseline Slam (1992)
The GOAT, Michael Jordan, lit up Madison Square Garden during a Christmas showdown against the Knicks. With a quick baseline drive, MJ took flight and hammered it down, leaving the New York crowd in simultaneous awe and frustration.
LeBron James Over Tim Duncan (2007)
In a face-off between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron showcased why he’s King. Driving down the lane, he took flight over a waiting Tim Duncan, slamming the ball with authority.
Blake Griffin’s Monster Alley-Oop (2011)
With Chris Paul’s impeccable timing, he lobbed the ball up for a waiting Blake Griffin, who, without hesitation, soared above the defense and threw down a powerful alley-oop that had the Staples Center erupting in cheers.
Kobe Bryant’s Reverse Slam (2004)
Even in a losing effort against the Miami Heat, Kobe Bryant showed his unmatched flair. Catching a pass on the move, he completed a spinning reverse dunk that had everyone’s jaws dropping.
Dwight Howard’s Superman Dunk (2008)
It wasn’t the Dunk Contest, but Dwight Howard channeled his inner Superman against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Catching a lob from Jameer Nelson, Howard effortlessly slammed it down with a one-handed jam.
Russell Westbrook’s Explosive Finish (2013)
Speed and power define Russell Westbrook’s game. On Christmas Day against the New York Knicks, he showcased both. After grabbing the puck, Westbrook ran down the floor and finished the break with a thundering slam.
The Long Stride of Giannis Antetokounmpo (2019)
The “Greek Freak” is no stranger to highlight-reel dunks. On Christmas against the Philadelphia 76ers, Giannis covered the ground just a few strides before elevating and finishing with a dominant slam.
Derrick Rose’s Acrobatic Finish (2010)
Known for his agility and body control, D-Rose provided one of the most memorable dunks against the New York Knicks. Driving through traffic, Rose finished with an acrobatic under-the-basket slam.
Vince Carter’s Age-Defying Jam (2014)
Even in the twilight of his career, Vince Carter, playing for the Memphis Grizzlies, showed he still had hops. Catching a pass in stride, VC threw it down with the grace and power that reminded fans of his younger days.
Shaquille O’Neal’s Backboard Rattler (2000)
The Big Aristotle, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, received a pass down low and, with a defender on his back, rose and shook the entire backboard with a ferocious two-handed slam.
Christmas and basketball have provided fans with unforgettable memories. These dunks represent the combination of festive joy and athletic prowess, forever etching these moments into NBA lore. As we approach another holiday season, fans worldwide eagerly await to see who will join this illustrious list of high-flyers.