NBA All-Bounce Team 2018
Everybody in the NBA is athletic. I know you want to list the players who don’t seem like the most fleet of foot, but unless you can outjump or outrun any of the world’s best basketball players that argument is null and void. With that being said, the All-Bounce team is not for the rim grazers or mundane 6-foot-5 and uppers who can dunk. It is also not for the long dunkers aka the guys who can dunk without jumping off the ground -- Giannis Antetokounmpo and my boy Boban. This list is for the few rim terrorizers who make jaws drop nightly with their aerial exploits. Ain’t no trampolines involved, this isn’t for mascots.
Dallas Mavericks PG Dennis Smith Jr.
Smith suffered an ACL tear before his senior season of high school. One would think after going under the knife, Dallas’ resident rim punisher would have lost at least a smidge off his vertical. Turns out, the second-year point guard was dunking two weeks after the injury and may actually have an extra ligament in his knee — something only 20 percent of humans have. Ya coach, the bouncy baller still has fresh legs. Whether it’s on a YouTube highlight from the offseason or a Dec. matchup vs insert victim here, the floor general has made it his mission to punish every rim/idiot who tries to block one of his dunk attempts in sight and do so in style. He’s close friends with fellow native Fayetteville native J. Cole and I’d love to see him use Cole as a prop the next time he’s in the dunk contest. Stay tuned.
Milwaukee Bucks F Pat Connaughton
Ayo Spanky, Ayo Spanky, Ayo Spanky, white boy on the mic. If you remove all basketball-related pictures and scroll through Connaughton’s Instagram, he resembles more youth pastor than hooper. If you let that fool you, which some players in the NBA already have, you will end up baptized. The Notre Dame product recorded the highest max vertical leap of anybody at the 2015 NBA Draft Combine (44 inches) and has been sprinkling holy water on some of the league’s rim protectors in 2018 as a member of the Bucks. Don't get caught slipping out here, 4MP tried to warn you.
Miami Heat G/F Derrick Jones Jr.
Highlights of Jones Jr.’s head soaring above the rim as he threw down jaw-dropping dunk after dunk had already made waves throughout social media even before he set foot at UNLV. If you need proof, type in his name on YouTube and one of the first things you will see is Derrick Jones The Best Dunker in the Nation? This is from three years ago and has over a million views, so his bounce isn’t necessarily a secret. Though, he didn’t win the 2017 NBA Dunk Contest, the Philly native attacked the rim like Meek on an intro, throwing down a vicious between-the-legs dunk after catching an alley-oop off the side of the backboard. Oh, and his head was above the rim on that one too. Now in Miami, Jones Jr. has taken his throne as South Beach’s resident skyscraper.
PS: I’d pay to hear him and Dion Waiters trade Philly stories.
Orlando Magic F Aaron Gordon
I wanted to leave Gordon off this list, but I couldn’t. Hey, it took virtually no research, and I only need one highlight to state my case. On a beautiful night in Orlando, Nov. 7, 2018 to be exact, the Magic hosted the Pistons -- not a League Pass dream matchup but who cares? With the Magic down three in the fourth quarter, the best Tunisian player in the history of the NBA, Evan Fournier, grabbed the ball from Andre Drummond and ignited a fast break. Wait for it. After Fournier tossed an outlet pass to D.J. Augustin — who sports the best waves in basketball — Gordon hit the acceleration button, racing down the floor. It’s coming. Augustin then spotted Gordon out of the corner of his eye, lobbed the ball into the air and watched the forward catch the ball with one hand, put his other hand behind his head in an ode to Karl Malone aka the Mail Man and deliver the goods, sending home a dunk that caused me to spill my Jameson all over my beloved Cowboys blanket. Goodnight.
Toronto Raptors F Pascal Siakam
First and foremost, I’ve never seen someone improve as fast as Siakam. Up until the age of 18, Siakam went to a seminary school in a remote Cameroonian Village. Fast-forward six years and sprinkle a summer full of Rico Hines workouts and Siakam is now one of the game’s most tantalizing players. The way he explodes off the floor for rebounds, blocks and dunks is captivating. I now he’s a long-armed dunker and we said we’d keep them off this list, but you just have to watch how he explodes off the hardwood. It’s fascinating.
PS: I know you can call him a long dunker, but I had to include him. I really couldn’t help myself.
4MP HyAli’s Honorable Mention
Washington Wizards F Devin Robinson
Minnesota Timberwolves G Josh Okogie
Charlotte Hornets F Miles Bridges
Miami Heat F/C Bam Adebayo
Boston Celtics F Jaylen Brown