Despite only playing with the Miami Heat for three years, it was extremely difficult to narrow down LeBron’s best dunks as a member of the Heat to only 15. It’s just what tends to happen when you have the power and strength of Karl Malone, the speed and agility of Tim Hardaway and the hangtime of Julius Erving.
What do you get from that mixture? A perfect storm of rim-rattling, dunk-defying and altitude-achieving throwdowns that shake the heavens and the earth themselves. Dunks put down with such ferocity that Satan is banging on the ceiling of Hell with a broom telling LeBron to keep it down up there.
Next time you’re at the American Airlines Arena, make sure to take notice of the divots left in the ceiling by LeBron’s knuckles.
Since we’re all going through basketball withdrawals, a few of LeBron’s dunks will suffice until we start adding new videos to the King’s resume next season.
15. LeBron Explodes on the Philadelphia 76ers Rim
Crazy to think this isn’t even LeBron’s best dunk against the Sixers. Nevertheless, James wanted to remind the Sixers, a team that hasn’t beaten the Miami Heat in the regular season since before LeBron joined the squad, that his athletic dominance could span across two teams.
14. The only part of Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals worth remembering for LeBron
Props to Mike Bibby for missing another wide-open shot. Too bad LeBron couldn’t scoop up and dunk every miss of Bibby’s. Maybe the Heat would have been in a better position to win the ’11 championship had there been an offensive rebound on every one of the forgettable point guard’s open looks.
13. LeBron Abuses Bill Walker
In a game that featured the Heat’s primary method of scoring coming via dunk, LeBron’s posterization of the smaller, less athletic Bill Walker trumps his alley-oops with Norris Cole and Dwyane Wade. However, Wade may have ended up with the dunk of the night with his Eurostep slam over Landry Fields.
Seriously. There were a lot of dunks in this game.
12. LeBron Nearly Jumps over Rajon Rondo for the alley-oop
Heat fans, do you prefer seeing members of the Heat embarrass Rajon Rondo? Or do you prefer the current dismantling of his roster?
Both sweet. Both satisfying.
11. LeBron Throws Down the First 360 Dunk of his NBA Career
We were all surprised to learn that LeBron’s 360 dunk in a March 2012 contest against the Atlanta Hawks was the first of his NBA career. After so many dunks, you would assume he would have had thrown down at least one or two before then.
Once again, Cleveland is left on the outside looking in; imagining their former All-Star and MVP throwing down 360 dunks in their wine and gold uniform.
10. LeBron Sets himself up for the Putback Dunk vs Milwaukee
This isn’t going to be the first time you see LeBron dunking on the Milwaukee Bucks. For some reason, that team has been victimized by the exploits of James, who has scored a near career-high 55 points and dropped 24 points in a single quarter against this hapless opponent.
9. LeBron Continues to Punish Cleveland, Dunks on Two Cavaliers
I’ve seen this dunk about 689 times since it happened and I still have no idea how LeBron was able to dunk it through two pairs of arms. James simply elevates over two tall Cavs defenders in J.J. Hickson and Christian Eyenga, both extremely athletic players, and drops another bomb on his former team.
8. LeBron Nonchalantly Dunks on Patrick Patterson, Sends him to Floor
I would just like to remind you the player LeBron just dunked on and sent crumbling to the floor is a 6’9″, 235-pound NBA player. That’s the problem with LeBron’s dunks sometimes, though. He makes them look so easy that you’re not sure how impressed you’re supposed to be.
7. “WATCH YO’ HEAD!”
LeBron James is such a courteous person that he wanted to make sure Roy Hibbert wouldn’t injure his head, so he decided to yell loud enough that the whole stadium would catch it.
Fortunately for us, the cameras caught it, too.
6. Arguably LeBron’s Best Poster Dunk of his Career and it Doesn’t Even Count
Gerald Henderson had to have woken up with worst migraine of his life the morning after LeBron dropped the hammer on the top of his cranium. And if Henderson wasn’t getting migraines before the dunk, he surely is now.
5. A Pair of Baseline Slams over the Milwaukee Bucks
So, who had the bright idea of having Mike Dunleavy defend LeBron James? I think we all saw this dunk coming.
Milwaukee would try to recover from their mistakes in a game a few years later, this time putting rookie John Henson on James. What they got was the exact same result, but somehow worse.
LEAVE MILWAUKEE ALOOOOOOONE.
4. LeBron Gets Pushed in Mid-Air, Dunks on Muggles
This dunk occurred early in LeBron’s first season with the Miami Heat and it gave their fanbase a first look at just how absolutely ridiculous their new superstar could be. The Phoenix Suns, however, knew this LeBron all too well already.
3. LeBron Destroys Ian Mahinmi
Overshadowed because of how awful he was in the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron threw down one of the best dunks in NBA Finals history with his incredible slam over the 6’11” Ian Mahinmi.
2. LeBron Sons John Lucas III
I remember watching this and the exact words I said after the dunk:
“Did….did he just jump over that guy?”
I originally thought otherwise because of how mellow the announcers sounded, but a second look gave a clear picture of LeBron literally jumping over the 5’11” John Lucas III, now known as one of the Heat’s greatest nuisances.
5’11” or not, LeBron dunked over an NBA player mid-game. It’s not as easy as YouTube commenters attempt to make it sound.
LeBron’s Best Dunk that Never Counted
1. LeBron Dunks on Jason Terry’s Ancestors, Sends him to the Crossroads
LeBron James and the Heat had Jason Terry’s family singing sad songs the night he ended the life of the 6’3″ guard that had pestered Miami for nearly a decade.
This dunk is the best of LeBron’s Heat tenure not just because of the dunk, awesome as it is, but also because it’s Jason Terry and it’s the Boston Celtics and it’s in Boston.
I wonder if Jason got a tattoo of the dunk on his other bicep.