Posted by: Danny Hansen on February 16th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
***UPDATE: As this was being posted, news broke that Jeremy Evans is not a participant in the 2012 Dunk Contest.
In the next few days we will find out if the #LetJeremyDunk Twitter campaign was successful and Jazzman Jeremy Evans was invited to participate in the 2012 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Never before has there been this type of support and clamoring for a Jazz player to be included in the contest. Granted, we live in the social media age where the voice of the fan is heard louder than ever before. But a lot has to do with the fact that Jeremy Evans is a once in a lifetime dunker. So where does he rank among the best dunkers in Jazz history?
To explore such a question you need some criteria. We could go off the best in-game dunkers. We could say who would win in a hypothetical dunk contest between former Jazzmen. Or we could go off of success in prior dunk contests. For this list, we factored them all and anything to do with dunking.
10. Bryon Russell
He was known later in his career for his 3 point shooting and being infamously pushed off in the last seconds of the NBA Finals, but early in his career this second round pick found playing time under Jerry Sloan as a defender and slasher/dunker. He also has one of the most significant dunks in Jazz history. His dunk in the final seconds of Game 4 of the 1997 NBA Finals brought the Jazz the closer to a championship than they had ever been before.
9. Karl Malone
He made the list for two main reasons: quantity and power. No player in Jazz history will ever come close to the amount of dunks that Karl had in his career. And for what Karl lacked in creativity (One hand behind the head?), he made up for in power. It is scary to imagine what the Jazz franchise would look like without the Mailman’s special deliveries.
8. Ronnie Brewer
One of the most underrated finishers in Jazz history, few could work the baseline like Ronnie Brewer. He had the right amount of power and athleticism to make his dunks spectacular.
7. Ronnie Price
The shortest guy on our list is probably best remembered for the dunk he had against Jazz (His facial of one Carlos Boozer) than he had for the Jazz. However, Ronnie had plenty of great ones in a Jazz uniform.
6. David Benoit
Probably will be better remembered for missed 3 pointers in the playoffs against Houston than for his dunking, but this forward from Alabama could really get up. He participated in the 1993 contest in Salt Lake City, finishing 4th.
5. Jamie Watson
A huge spark the Jazz teams of the mid 90’s, this second round pick from South Carolina also finished 3rd in the 1995 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, taking part as a rookie.
4. Blue Edwards
This 2 time Jazzman could really get up earning the nickname ‘Sky’ Blue Edwards. Mr. Theodore was thought to be the athletic 3 the Jazz needed to take them to the promised land, but he was eventually traded to Milwaukee. Blue participated in the 1991 contest finishing 5th. He also had one of the better forgotten dunks in Jazz history.
3. DeShawn Stevenson
The closest that any Jazz player came to winning a dunk contest was DeShawn in 2001, where he finished 2nd to Desmond Mason. He is also the last Jazzman to appear in a dunk contest, until…
2. Jeremy Evans
Hopefully Jeremy Evans will get his invite to the dunk contest this year. If he doesn’t, it will be a tragedy. Like I said, he is a once in a lifetime dunker. His best dunk of his career didn’t even count. His slam over Gerald Wallace was called a charge. You rarely see a player draw a charge while getting dunked on because this would mean the defender would have to be outside the circle and still have the player dunk on him. But that is what happened with Jeremy Evans. #LetJeremyDunk
Before he was the ‘Golden Griff’, for his high arching 3 point shots, he was ‘Dr. Dunkenstein’. The only Jazzman to compete in 2 dunk contests, he had the grace of a true old-school dunker.
Jazz Dunk Trivia
Question: Which Jazz player recorded this highest score for a single dunk in the dunk contest?
Answer: DeShawn Stevenson recorded a 49 for his second dunk of the first round in the 2001 contest.
Question: Which 2 Jazz players are the only ones to advance to the finals of the dunk contest?
Answer: Deshawn Stevenson (2001) & Jamie Watson (1995)
Question: In 2003, this 6’10” former Jazzman recorded his first career points on a dunk?
Answer: Ben Handlogten
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