The Most Popular Dunk: Ranking the Top Slam Dunks

Choose the dunk you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 6, 2023 07:42)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! We've just launched an exciting new ranking – "What is the most popular dunk?" – and we need your help to determine the ultimate slam dunk champion. Whether you're a basketball enthusiast or simply love witnessing gravity-defying feats of athleticism, we've got a spectacular lineup of dunks for you to choose from, and even the option to suggest a missing contender. So, what are you waiting for? It's time to dive in, cast your vote, and make your voice heard in the battle for high-flying supremacy. Don't miss out on the chance to be part of this thrilling showdown, and remember – the sky's the limit!

What Is the Most Popular Dunk?

  1. 1
    Michael Jordan: Michael Jordan is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time, and his iconic dunk from the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest is one of the most popular in NBA history. Jordan leaped from the free-throw line and soared through the air to slam the ball through the hoop, earning him a perfect score from the judges.
    The Slam Dunk Contest Winner is an iconic dunk performed during the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. It is known for its combination of athleticism, creativity, and style, and is often regarded as one of the most impressive dunks in basketball history. The dunk involves a player leaping into the air, soaring high above the rim, and throwing down a powerful one-handed slam dunk. It showcases a perfect blend of vertical leap, hang time, and body control.
    • Dunk Difficulty: High
    • Athleticism Required: Exceptional
    • Execution Precision: Critical
    • Creativity: Elevated
    • Style: Flamboyant
  2. 2

    The Windmill Dunk

    Julius Erving (Dr. J)
    Vince Carter: Vince Carter's windmill dunk during the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is another classic dunk that remains popular to this day. Carter put on a show with his athleticism and creativity, executing a windmill dunk that left the crowd in awe.
    The Windmill Dunk is a popular basketball dunk that involves a player rotating their arm in a circular motion before bringing the basketball from the low position to above the rim and slam it through the hoop.
    • Arm rotation: A full circular motion of the arm
    • Starting position: Basketball is held low
    • Ball movement: Ball is brought up while arm is rotating
    • Airborne: Player jumps off the ground
    • One-handed grip: Ball is firmly held with one hand
  3. 3

    The 360 Dunk

    Julius Erving
    Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant was known for his incredible scoring ability, but he also had some impressive dunks in his career. One of his most popular was his 360-degree dunk during the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, which showed off his athleticism and flair.
    The 360 Dunk is a highly impressive basketball dunk that involves a player spinning 360 degrees in mid-air before slamming the ball into the hoop. It requires exceptional athleticism, body control, and timing.
    • Execution: Mid-air
    • Power: Explosive
    • Flair: Stylish
    • Popularity: High
    • Type: Basketball dunk
  4. 4

    The Tomahawk Dunk

    Julius Erving
    Dominique Wilkins: Dominique Wilkins was one of the most explosive dunkers in NBA history, and his tomahawk dunk is one of his most iconic. Wilkins would take off from the free-throw line and slam the ball down with authority, leaving defenders in his wake.
    The Tomahawk Dunk is a popular basketball dunk characterized by a player raising the ball above their head with one hand before forcefully throwing it down into the hoop. This dunk is typically performed with a high level of athleticism and power, resulting in a visually impressive display of strength and technique.
    • Name: The Tomahawk Dunk
    • Nickname: The Hammer
    • Dunk Style: One-handed
    • Grip: Cradle grip or Reverse grip
    • Takeoff: One or two feet
  5. 5
    Julius Erving: Julius Erving, also known as Dr. J, was a pioneer of the modern dunk and had many memorable dunks throughout his career. His Statue of Liberty dunk, which he performed during the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, is one of his most famous.
    The Statue of Liberty Dunk is a basketball dunk where the player grabs the ball with one hand and extends it high above their head in a pose reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty. It is a popular dunk known for its style, grace, and display of athleticism.
    • Difficulty level: Advanced
    • Execution: One-handed dunk
    • Ball placement: High above the head
    • Body position: Elevated with legs extended
    • Style: Glamorous
  6. 6

    The Reverse Dunk

    Julius Erving
    LeBron James: LeBron James is one of the most dominant players in NBA history, and his reverse dunk during the 2008 NBA All-Star Game is one of his most popular. James took off from the baseline and spun in mid-air before slamming the ball home with authority.
    The Reverse Dunk is a basketball dunking technique that involves leaping towards the hoop, rotating the body mid-air, and dunking the ball with the opposite hand from the side of the hoop.
    • Difficulty: Advanced
    • Contestability: High
    • Athleticism: Critical
    • Style: Flashy
    • Required Space: Ample
  7. 7

    The One-Handed Alley-Oop

    Julius Erving
    Blake Griffin: Blake Griffin is known for his high-flying dunks, and his one-handed alley-oop during the 2010 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is one of his most memorable. Griffin caught the ball in mid-air and threw it down with one hand, earning him a perfect score from the judges.
    The One-Handed Alley-Oop is a dazzling basketball dunk where a player leaps towards the basket and catches a high pass mid-air with one hand, and then seamlessly finishes the dunk with a powerful slam using the same hand.
    • Difficulty: High
    • Style: Acrobatic
    • Athleticism: Elevated
    • Showmanship: Dynamic
    • Creativity: Innovative
  8. 8
    Shaquille O'Neal: Shaquille O'Neal was one of the most dominant centers in NBA history, and his two-handed power dunk is one of his most popular. O'Neal would take off from the paint and slam the ball down with authority, often shattering the backboard in the process.
    The Two-Handed Power Dunk is a spectacular dunk move in basketball where the player uses both hands to forcefully slam the ball into the hoop. It is known for its display of raw power and athleticism.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
    • Height: Above the rim
    • Power: Explosive
    • Style: Aggressive
    • Technique: Gather ball with both hands, elevate powerfully, and forcefully slam it into the hoop
  9. 9

    The Free-Throw Line Dunk

    Julius Erving
    Spud Webb: Spud Webb may have been one of the shortest players in NBA history, but he had some serious hops. His free-throw line dunk during the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is one of his most popular, as he showed off his incredible athleticism and leaping ability.
    The Free-Throw Line Dunk is a gravity-defying basketball dunk where the performer starts their takeoff from just inside the free-throw line and finishes with a powerful slam dunk. This dunk requires exceptional athleticism, skill, and precise timing.
    • Dunk Type: Slam Dunk
    • Takeoff Point: Just inside the free-throw line
    • Landing Point: Basketball hoop
    • Required Distance: Approximately 15 feet
    • Required Speed: High speed for takeoff
  10. 10
    Jason Richardson: Jason Richardson was a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion, and his between-the-legs dunk during the 2003 contest is one of his most memorable. Richardson took off from the baseline and executed a perfect between-the-legs dunk, earning him a perfect score from the judges.
    The Between-the-Legs Dunk is a basketball dunk move performed by leaping into the air and passing the basketball between the legs before forcefully dunking it through the hoop. It is known for its high level of style and difficulty.
    • Difficulty Level: High
    • Style: Aesthetically pleasing
    • Execution: Leap, Pass between legs, Dunk
    • Blind Timing: Required
    • Ball Handling: Precise control

Missing your favorite dunk?


Ranking factors for popular dunk

  1. Creativity
    A popular dunk should be creative and original, showcasing the dunker's ability to think outside the box and perform something unique and innovative.
  2. Degree of Difficulty
    The complexity and level of skill required to execute the dunk should be taken into account. A high degree of difficulty adds to the excitement and appeal of the dunk.
  3. Height and Hang Time
    The height at which the dunk is performed and the amount of time the dunker spends in the air contribute to the overall visual spectacle of the dunk.
  4. Power and Force
    A powerful dunk with a strong finish can create a more memorable and impactful moment, leaving a lasting impression on spectators.
  5. Body Control and Fluidity
    The dunker's ability to control their body in the air and demonstrate smooth, fluid movements is an essential factor in a popular dunk.
  6. Showmanship and Crowd Reaction
    A dunker's ability to engage the crowd and elicit a strong reaction can elevate a dunk's popularity. This includes not only the dunk itself, but also any celebrations, gestures, or theatrics that follow.
  7. Context and Competition
    The situation in which the dunk takes place can play a significant role in its popularity. On a bigger stage, such as an NBA game or dunk contest, the stakes are higher and the pressure greater.
  8. Social Media and Virality
    In today's digital age, the popularity of a dunk can often be gauged by how much it's shared and discussed on social media. A dunk that goes viral can quickly gain a much wider audience and become well-known among sports fans.
  9. Historical Significance
    Some dunks gain popularity due to their historical significance, such as breaking a record or being performed by a legendary player.
  10. Replay Value
    Ultimately, a popular dunk should have high replay value, meaning it's exciting and visually appealing enough for viewers to want to watch it again and again.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular dunk. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or dunk is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 204 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each dunk once every 24 hours. The rank of each dunk is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular dunk

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world and has been enjoyed by millions of people for decades. One of the most exciting moves in basketball is the dunk, where a player jumps high and slams the ball through the hoop. This electrifying move has become a staple of the game, inspiring players to push their limits and create new variations. From the classic two-handed dunk to the flashy one-handed tomahawk, there are countless ways to throw down the ball. At StrawPoll, we've asked thousands of basketball fans to vote on their favorite dunk, and the results are in. Keep reading to find out which dunk reigns supreme!

Share this article