The free throw line dunk. The definitive mark of athleticism that separates the boys from the men. Here are five athletes with the explosive jumping abilities and body control to perfectly execute the free throw line dunk.
5. Scottie Pippen
When you spend much of your NBA career alongside a guy named Michael Jordan, your athleticism flies under the radar. But Scottie has this feat to remind us that #33 wasn’t too far behind #23. While he did step inside the free throw line, the dunk was still epically ferocious. And he didn’t even travel.
4. Kadour Ziani
Most NBA fans probably never heard of Algerian rim abuser Kadour Ziani. Ziani is a professional dunker and this is his greatest hits compilation. The dunk you’re looking for starts at the 0:42 mark. You may have to watch that one two or three times to convince yourself that he didn’t literally fly to the hoop.
3. Michael Jordan
In this 1998 clip, which was clearly filmed with a calculator, you can see Air Jordan sprint to the foul line, levitate and throw down one of the finest dunks of his career. He was in the air for so long that he probably had enough time to make a phone call to Dominique Wilkins.
2. Dr. J
Just shy of his 36th birthday, Dr. J took off from the free throw line and threw that baby down with a vengeance. Sure, you could fill a 3-hour DVD with Dr. J’s electrifying dunks, but his performance at the 1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest stands tall above the rest.
1. James White
At first glance, it looks like the work of a deft video editor. But slow motion and raw facts show that James “Flight” White did, in fact, take off from behind the charity stripe and slam the ball home en route to NBA D-League dunk contest victory.
Sadly, White never really found his groove in the NBA. He was drafted by Portland, had a short stint in Houston, got shipped to Denver, and was eventually waived. For what it’s worth, though, James White will always be able to lay claim to what’s arguably the greatest free throw line dunk ever.