Thursday, January 26th, 2012 at 2:02 pm  |  34 responses

Vince Carter’s Top 40 Dunks

On his 35th birthday, we celebrate Vinsanity with a gallery of highlights.

by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam

Now in his 14th season, Vincent Lamar Carter has scripted one of the most unique legacies in NBA history. He’s often regarded as overrated, an underachiever, or even a “bust”, mostly because his enormous talent and ability do not correlate with his postseason success, or lack thereof, especially during his time as the face of the Toronto Raptors. But almost always, these critiques and claims are followed with words such as “amazing”, “unreal”, or even “one of the best to ever do it.” “It” is a very open-ended word, but Carter brought an excitement and hype to the NBA that few, if any, ever have. Carter was a human trampoline. He had the ability and gall to dunk on anyone, from anywhere. Mutombo, Mourning, The Admiral, Ben Wallace…the list goes on. And there was that Dunk Contest thing.

In all fairness, Vince wasn’t only a dunker. The guy racked up accolades, too. Rookie of the Year, averaged 27 in his second season, 8-time All-Star, led the Raptors to their first ever playoff appearance, dropped 51 twice, and so on. Maybe not the most important accolades, but nothing to sneeze at, either.

Numbers aside, it’s no secret that Carter connected with his inner self, his teammates and his fans while soaring to heights that would put Neil Armstrong to shame. In honor of his 35th birthday, we’ve compiled Vinsanity’s best 40 dunks. You know, the usual; facials, vomit-inducing aerial feats, windmills, career-enders, contested 360′s, game-winning alley-oops, a montage of the 2000 Dunk Contest and much, much more. The gallery begins with two filthy dunks from his UNC days followed by his first ever NBA dunk, then proceeds to rank the rest, which, honestly, is like ranking Dennis Rodman’s hairdos. Can’t really do it, fam. (Side note: Back in SLAM 104former Ed. Ryan Jones broke down a lot of these dunks with VC himself.)

With only one Conference Finals appearance to his name, Vince signed with the defending champion Dallas Mavericks this offseason, teaming up with former backcourt buddy Jason Kidd. And even now, in his 16th season, he’s still got it.

With that being noted, roll through the gallery above to take a look at Carter’s best throwdowns. Did I miss anything? Do you disagree with some of the rankings? If yes, feel free to drop by the comments and vent. Carter is currently nursing a sprained left foot, which has kept him out the past five games. Hopefully he returns sooner than later, but until then, relish in some of Vinsanity’s most remarkable moments. Feel better and happy born day, Vince!

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Done with dunks 40-24. Strapping on a seat-belt for the rest… “Vomit-inducing aerial feats, windmills, career-enders…” well said, Eldon!

  • Hart

    I miss the old VC

  • permaculture james

    #1 dunk is saltier than a potato chip. Or a ballpark frank.

  • Bravo

    Yes this is his Toronto days. My city just makes NBA stars……TRUTH!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com jumpman22

    These make NBA dunks today looked pathetic. (except most of BG’s)

  • meloman@2.0

    I could make a better list than this… doesn’t do him justice

  • AD

    nah Blake Griffin aint touchn him……

  • random

    I got VHS’s back in toronto with some of his dunks non of ya’ll have seen.

  • tom

    meloman@2.0 Posted: Jan.26 at 4:24 pm
    I could make a better list than this… doesn’t do him justice

    go ahead, back it up!

  • Jerome

    The over-France dunk was an offensive foul. Basically punched Weiss in the face. On the other hand, the oop vs. the Clips is still the best in-game dunk of all time.

  • random

    SLAM U FORGOT he scored OVER 20,000 pts. Plus this list is missing alot

  • mshahidz

    the dunk on zo is just straight NASTY!

  • kev

    whats nice about #3?

  • kev

    love the reaction from the guy on the bench in number 9

  • kev

    Wow this cat was damned amazing!

  • Yo Yo

    on #24…why don’t we get those camera angles anymore?

  • Dhruv

    Where’s his windmill vs the Bucks?

  • Dirk Nowitzki’s Mane


  • dadbath

    Some very puzzling omissions here.

    Game winning drive and dunk vs. Rockets:

    Rucker Park windmill oop:

    360 vs. Mavs:

    Over Zo with Raptors:

    Also, 21 should have been top five.

  • Roi

    Thank u for this piece. I think that early on in his career one of VC’s misfortunes was comparisons to MJ. However, unlike others anointed “the next Jordan”, VC is actually the first player to do something better than MJ (in a category that MJ dominated). Carter is unequivocally the best dunker in the history of the game (a claim with almost universal consensus). He was also insanely clutch for most of his career (check out his game winners on youtube). There are, of course, a lot of other accolades we can add here (but lets save that for the Hall of Fame argument). Thanks for the gift.

  • https://plus.google.com/photos/106403650426394352312/albums/posts davidR

    okay, i’m only at #39, and i can’t understand that there are 38 dunks better than that one

  • qwerty

    thank you slam for this. i could say as a dunker VC is better than mj. just slightly better. no hate on blake griffin but considering how NBA is hyping him, i think that VC, kemp, amare, tmac, jrich at their peak are better dunkers than blake. BTW is it VC’s 14th yr or 16th yr?

  • http://slamonline.com BALLEROFTHEYEAR

    Seriously that #1 dunk gives me chills. Physically, gives me chills. One of the nastiest facials ever.

  • http://anyoldthing Ugh

    I’m with davidR – #39 was mind-blowing. It beat the next 25 or so easily.
    Nonetheless, great compilation.

  • random


  • Glenn

    #26 was the first one that made me make a face

  • Glenn

    And again on #12

  • Bishop

    Devastating first step….wow!

  • Fred Pearce

    One of the the greatest, if not the greatest dunkers of all time.

  • shawnkemp4prez

    ‘Nique, Jordan, Kemp, and Dr. J are all on the Mount Rushmore of dunkers, but Vince trumps them all. No need for Jordan worshippers to get mad, he’s still the greatest player ever, but even he couldn’t dunk like VC. Respect


    the best description i can give you for the dunk over Wiess is this: Vin Baker’s face.

  • Justin G.

    Vin Baker’s and KG’s face along with Doug Collins’ reaction on commentary are all a testament to how sick that dunk was. @shawnkemp you bring up an interesting idea. What 4 would be on the Mount Rushmore of In Game Dunkers? Obviously Jordan and Carter are there probably alongside Dominique but who’s the fourth?

  • bigA

    no. 39 is so nice.
    That is also the only one I haven’t seen in my countless days of wasting time on youtube.
    Should have been higher.

  • andrew

    jason richardson