The modern-day NBA has leaned a lot towards long-distance shooting. But slam dunks and players posterizing their opponents continue to be an impressive sight.
The NBA has seen some ferocious dunkers of the ball over the years, who are unstoppable when they attack the rim, running down the court at full steam. The athleticism and strength required are tremendous, but the chances of having a better opportunity to convert an attempt are also higher at the rim.
The 21st century has seen a huge rise in the number of dunks made with each passing year to date. That's because players continue to evolve their games offensively, trying to find the best way to be more effective.
On that note, here's a look at five players who have recorded the most dunks since the turn of the century.
#5 Tyson Chandler - 1735 Dunks
Tyson Chandler is currently an unrestricted free agent, having last featured in the NBA in 2019-20 for the Houston Rockets. He was one of the most dominant bigs in the league and played for eight franchises throughout his career. Chandler was a huge threat at the defensive end because of his 7-feet frame.
He won the DPOY award in the 2011-12 NBA season with the New York Knicks and was known to be a dominant force in the paint at both ends of the floor. Although he did not attempt many shots, he was lethal to contain because of his ability to dunk the ball.
Throughout his 19 seasons in the NBA, Chandler dunked the ball 1735 times in 1878 attempts. 1405 of his shots were assisted by his fellow teammates.
#4 Shaquille O'Neal - 1874 dunks
Shaquille O'Neal is widely regarded as one of the most dominant big men in the NBA.
The 2000 MVP and four-time NBA champion was a difficult match-up for almost anyone because of his imposing 7' 1" frame. Shaq led the LA Lakers to a three-peat in 2003. He won the NBA Finals MVP award in all three years (2001-03).
Shaq had a post-up game second to none. More often than not, the eventual outcome of that would be him posterizing his counterpart with a ferocious dunk.
Despite playing only 617 games in the 21st century, it comes as no surprise that he is fourth on the list of most dunks by a player in the NBA during that period. He recorded 1874 dunks on 1983 attempts, averaging a whopping three dunks per game.
#3 LeBron James - 1948 Dunks
Future Hall of Famer, LeBron James, is next on the list with 1948 dunks to his name. James' ability to drive to the rim with tremendous amount of pace and finish with the kind of impact he does makes him a rare player, which also sets him apart from anyone else.
With advancing age, he hasn't been dunking the ball as often as he used to a few years back. But he is still a force to be reckoned with in the restricted area. He has been quite efficient as well, converting 96% of his dunk attempts throughout his career, the highest on this list.
LeBron James also happens to be the only player on this list, who doesn't play in the center position, which speaks volumes of how sound his all-round game is.
#2 DeAndre Jordan - 2273 Dunks
2017 NBA All-Star DeAndre Jordan was a menace for opposition bigs in his prime because of his strength in the low post.
He dominated at the defensive end, thanks to his 6' 11" frame, which also allowed him to be a remarkable dunker of the ball.
Jordan recorded 2273 dunks throughout his career, which is commendable, considering he made his NBA debut in 2008. Most of his highlight reels are that of him posterizing opposition players with monster dunks from his days as an LA Clippers player, for whom he played for ten seasons.
#1 Dwight Howard - 2910 Dunks
Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard ranks first among players with the most dunks during the 21st century.
His muscular build and 6' 11" frame combined with his freakish athleticism were huge assets. Howard was the rebounding leader five times in his career and led the league in blocks twice.
He averaged a double-double for 14 straight seasons. Howard was and is still one of the best when it comes to dunking the ball. He has recorded 2910 dunks on 3112 attempts throughout his career, also winning the Slam Dunk Contest in 2008.