Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 10:40 am  |  64 responses

Blake Griffin’s Dunks Remind George Karl of Shawn Kemp

George Karl had a front-row seat to the Shawn Kemp air show during their years together in Seattle, and the Denver Nuggets’ head coach sees similar things from Blake Griffin. From the LA Times: “I’ve talked to a couple of guys who’ve said, ‘Was Shawn as powerful?’ said Denver Nuggets Coach George Karl, who coached Kemp in Seattle, before Thursday’s game. ‘I think that’s the guy who’s closest.’ Legend had it that Kemp once dunked so hard that sparks flew off the rim. He later admitted it to be true, adding that the basket had a metal-chain net, which helped the sparks fly. Karl said seeing Griffin’s dunks reminded Karl of his own dunks — in a way. ‘This kid, he gets so high above the rim. It reminds me of when I was an athlete and I could jump and we got the 8-foot hoops,’ Karl said. ‘He does things that we used to do on 8, maybe 7-foot [hoops]. You know, throwing it down from three feet away.’”

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  • ENDS

    Air Karl

  • shawnkemp4prez

    Blake is amazing, no doubt about it, but he has a way to go before he can earn Shawn Kemp status. Many are quick to forget what a beast the Reign Man was.


    True dat.


    Sparks flyin’ , babies cryin’ , Chris Gatling , Dennis Rodman & many others sighin’…. rims left devastated , women impregnated . Callin Shawn a beastly 6.10′ dunkin machine is understated. Nobody better say any badness about Shawn or it’s on. Word is Bond

  • http://slamonline Hawk 910

    Shawn Kemp Vince Carter best sinkers in NBA history hands down!!!

  • shutup

    I think the comparison is accurate, all he said is his dunks remind him of Kemp, not that their games are the same or anything else, and if you think about it Kemp was the original throw it up and I’ll go get guy and Blake has that mentality to. I loved Kemp’s fire; greatest after dunk celebration ever I think Kemp cracked it on someone and stood over him and his teammate came over and was pointing at him like a lil kid that wanted a puppy

  • http://slamonline Hawk 910

    Dunkers my bad

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Somewhere in America, a woman became pregnant just from seeing Shawn Kemps name in this article…


    It was the Lister Blister. Get wit da program.


    overall, Kemp just had game. i still waiting for Blake to bust out that great low post spin move that Kemp invented whenever he was taking dudes off the dribble or rolling of a screen to catch a GP lob. things are looking great for Blake, yet as someone who grew up watching Kemp throw down some mean nasties…cant be duplicated. Kemp was just too nasty for ‘em!

  • Paul H

    Kemp’s dunk on Chris Gatling….Guy just looked at him and slapped his damn hand!

  • KH10

    Blakes rookie season was better than any in Kemps entire career.

  • Paul H

    I think Kemp, In his prime, had a way more developed and versatile post game than Blake has right now. Without question.

  • shawnkemp4prez

    KH10 with the day’s most uneducated comment.


    KY10 doesnt know Shawn is the Chuck norris of the league. Shal we drop him like a bad habit ?

  • Zabbah

    Blake will have a far better career than Kemp, that’s for sure. For one thing, I don’t see Blake in 6-8 years getting fat, impregnating women and snorting cocaine. I see Blake winning a title next year.


    @Zabbah. Probably , like Carlsberg beer. But real quick now check the second comment again coz you can’t even slurp properly therefore you shall swallow.


    @AQWORD…great name btw, but yes i agree, i say we drop ky10 like the bad habit linsey lohan got sent to rehab for playa.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Alf

    I posted the comment on the other article the other day and will just say that this George Karl article re-iterates what the Kemp comparsion.

    BG over Tim and/or Kendrik = Kemp over Alton Lister.

    BG is just missing the kemp-reverse-crap-over-rodman dunk. But he’s still young.

    So…brings up an interesting question:

    If Kemp’s got labelled the “Lister Blister” then what should we dub BG’s?

  • Paul H

    I would agree that Blake, barring serious injury or catastrophic character change, will end up having the more productive and successful career. But Shawn was as skilled, athletic and frightening a post player In the league during the early to mid nineties. Respect the memories!

  • http://slamonline.com Raseven

    ky10 has to be like 12 years old

  • 23

    many people wont ever admit that there is a better power dunker than kemp, but in reality there are already some better dunkers. but of course kemps legendary cult-like status wont allow that thought to take place. just like how in reality, kobe is just as good as jordan. identical game. but because of jordans shoes, and the fact that he was the original, many people are blind to who kobe is as a player. blake doesnt have kemps attitude or demeanor, but blake is a better dunker. period.

  • 23

    @alf ive heard people reffered to timofeys as blake “baptized” him. i love that.

  • Erik

    @Alf, maybe it should be called the Kender Bender? The collision was undeniable, haha

  • bike

    Someday, Blake will be referred to as “Strawberry Chocolate”.

  • shawnkemp4prez

    Saying that Blake will have a far better career than Kemp is ridiculous. Griff has been tremendous, no doubt, but he’s on year number two. Harold Miner? Steve Francis? JR Rider? Latrell Sprewell? All got off to hot starts in the beginning, but it takes years of greatness to achieve legend status (yes, Kemp is an NBA legend). Drugs/weight/fifty kids aside, anyone who saw him play in the 90′s knows this.

  • Heals

    Yeah, but Shawn was a better showman and more of a theatrical…

  • Heals


  • Brion

    My 3 worst Sonic memories:
    1. Mt. Mutombo
    2 Losing Kemp for Vin Baker
    3. Losing our team to OKC

  • shutup

    @23 Kobe isnt as good as Jordan, Dominique was probably the greatest power dunker of all time and I’m not blind to any part of Kobe’s career, theres things as a player that MJ did that Kobe hasnt and couldnt do. MJ was a beast on both sides of the ball, Kobe is an above average defender at best, thats just one example, I’m just sick of typing

  • KING

    Shawn Kemp actually dunked the ball, he didn’t throw it in the rim

  • fruizm

    Blake wishes…Kemp was my favorite player when i was like 10…I still have that game on VHS when he dunked on Rodman during the Finals.

  • Fletch213

    Blake Griffin’s top 2 dunks are questionable about even being dunked. Nice comparison to Shawn Kemp but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, he isnt better yet

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Brion….. Sounds about right. Pippen for Olden Polynice was a hard one to take also though lol… (laughing cause it hurts)

  • vtrobot

    ha ha. there are a lot greater chances of a better dunker since shawn than there are great chances of better players since mike. soncis leaving seattle is a lot of our worst NBA memory.

  • SwissArmyKnife5

    @23 Worst comment ever bro people need to cut it out with the Kobe is better than MJ crap…Let me just end this argument early hand checking was allowed when MJ played it’s not allowed now that (Kobe’s era). Kobe career numbers vs MJ SMH. Kobe 1125 Games 36.4 mpg 45%fg 33%3pfg 83%ft 5.3rpg 4.7apg 1.2spg .5bpg 25.4ppg Jordan 1072 Games 38.3 mpg 49%fg 32%3ptfg 83%ft 6.2rpg 5.3apg 2.4apg .8bpg 30ppg plus Jordan retired at his peak then came back and dominated still.

  • Shtrobi-1

    HD TV changes everything these dunks nowdays might look better cause we weren’t seeing Jordan, Nique and Kemp in HD. Blake can look great at times, but ordinary in others, I watched Darko give him a but of a touch up the other day. They are similar yes, did Shawn get a ring no, but who did he lose to in the finals!

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    I could see why george karl would say this. Blake isn’t nearly as skilled but he’ll be there very soon. and for the person who said “kobe is as good as jordan” 23 you realize it’s been scientifically proven that Jordan is better in nearly every way then kobe right?

  • http://www.borntocompete.com Money$hot

    Its no doubt that Blake is a great dunker and does have a chance to pass Shawn Kemp, but by no means Blake is a better dunker then Shawn Kemp right now. When Shawn Kemp dunk on somebody he made great contact with the rim.

  • robb

    I wish they could clone Shawn Kemp, that’s the player I miss the most besides MJ.

  • Mariano

    Payton and Kemp… Fav duo of the 90′s

  • TP

    Anyone under the age of 25 should be required by law to watch the last 5 dunks on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVm6USjXAzk …before they post a comment.

  • Justin G.

    You know, there should be some kind of kill switch at SLAM where if anybody posts that Kobe, Lebron, or anybody else is better than MJ they are automatically deleted and banned. The “Jordan was better because of his shoes” line was absolutely hysterical. We should also not try arguing with the person because it’s pointless to prove the same facts over and over as to why MJ was better.

    When I first saw Griffin, Kemp was the first person I thought of in terms of a comparison. Then I watched a YouTube clip of Kemp’s Top 10 dunks and damn was he ferocious! He had a lot more flash but it could also be argued that he was allowed to have a lot more flash. If you tomahawk on someone and you point at them while they’re on the ground you get T’d up now.

  • SikhWitIt

    Shawn Kemp was the better dunker. Blake Griffin’s dunks don’t have any personality, he needs to be more of a showman and put some sauce on it. Kemp ftw.


    2 me Blakes dunks are ill but they lack flavour + Kemp dunked on (among everybody else great during his Reign)Hakeem + Mutombo therefore Griffin gots to get Dwight. Nice Throw Down but Perk aint a shot blocker.

  • Justin G.

    ^^^You should tell Perk that. I remember afterwards when he said it was no big deal and “that happens to us shot blockers sometimes”. May not be the exact quote but he did call himself a shot blocker. Made me laugh anyway

  • http://entelleckt.com Mike Wyatt | @Entelleckt

    How do the Mozgov and Perkins plays count as dunks (or Dwight Howard’s “Superman” dunk contest winner)?

  • 23

    swissarmy, uhhh those stats are a VERY WEAK ARGUEMENT! because well first of all, jordan avgd 2 diff numebrs in apg!!?? REVISE your comment please. and even the numbers are nearly identical. which solidifies my point.and basically kobes first 2 years were an adjustment process, the dude came in from hs, so kobes early stats dont hold a candle to MJs. but Kobe is the same size and has similar athletic ability a eerily similar game right down to the shooting form. kobe is a killer in crunch time, just like mj. and funny thing is i dont ever remember typing anyone was better than mj…. LEARN TO READ PEOPLE! and jordan has welcomed kobe comparisons many times! so i know theres alot of people who see jordan as god, he is arguably the best ever… but i wouldnt say its by a LARGE MARGIN by any means.

  • 23

    if blakes plays arent dunks, what are they?????!!!?!?!???

  • Washtub

    too many fools on here that weren’t even BORN during the 96 finals. stfu

  • burnt_chicken

    I like that the only people who don’t hold Kemp in VERY high regard are clearly the only ones who never got to appreciate his aerial mastery. co-sign tp- education is a good thing.

  • 23

    jordan had one of the best careers in all of sports. he is a legend no doubt about that.


    just throwin in ouit there : My fave N.B.A dunkers of all time : Darryl Dawkins , Nique , Clyde , (had some sprisingly insane dunks)Barkley , Jordan , Pippen, KEMP #1 , Spree , K.G. , Harold Miner , Antonio McDyess , Vince , (i dislike him but he’s there:-) Kobe, Iggy , Griffles. Peace

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    man i’ll knock kemp out

  • Justin G.

    23, no you didn’t say he was better. You said he was just as good which is almost as bad. Kobe has a similar game and size because he’s patterned his game after Michael. Of course Michael welcomes Kobe comparisons…he knows they aren’t close. Offensively speaking Jordan is better but the wide margin comes on the defensive end…actually you know what? I’m taking my own advice and not getting into it. These arguements are ridiculous.

  • http://slamonline.com the nerve

    theres a wide margin on the offensive side 2 man. ayo im bout 2 troll tha hell out of this nicka justing

  • 23

    Ok I’m done. Hard headed people here. Old school and not willing to get their heads out the past. Athletes are better these days. Bigger, faster and stronger. They have more knowledge because they learn from the past. Let me just remind everyone here that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD and his name is not michael jordan.

  • ab40

    AQWORD thumbs up

  • ab40

    Kemp was a bit more fluid of an ahtlete though but blake has a lot of time to get there. Kemp was just quicker on and off his feet, but when blake gathers his feet he has more power going up. When Blake develops his between the legs step back jumper it’s gonna be on. I think the clips are gonna flame out in the Playoffs and Jerry Sloan and Karl Malone are coming in to coach next year.

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    George Karl was actually there… it is a great complement for Blake to remind him of Kemp, but what he was saying was: yea Blake is doing some awesome things, but the sequel is rarely better than the original.

  • http://anyoldthing Ugh

    Did someone just call on God because he was losing an argument? Hah!


    ^^ Lol ^^

  • Maniac

    Lol 23 don’t even worry about them man. You’re right

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