30 best NBA poster dunks of all time

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 1: Russell Westbrook
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 1: Russell Westbrook /
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25. Kobe Bryant over Dwight Howard

Watching this dunk in 2018 feels so much different than it did when it actually happened. When Kobe Bryant threw down one of the most disrespectful dunks of all time on a rookie Dwight Howard, it just felt like a rookie finding himself at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Howard would tell the NBA that it was the first time he had been dunked on in his life and that he was asked for an autograph by a kid wearing a shirt of Kobe dunking on him. The dunk was iconic just for the sheer force that Bryant unleashed when he threw it down.

However, the dunk itself sort of took on a life of its own as it feels more like foreshadowing now than an innocent basketball play then. Bryant and Howard would later become teammates in one of the weirdest seasons in Lakers history and tensions would rise the next season when Howard was a member of the Rockets, leading to the infamous “soft” gif that has littered the Internet ever since.

DeShawn Stevenson and Pat Garrity didn’t do Howard any favors. Stevenson didn’t really work to fight through a screen and Garrity kind of just stood there and watched Bryant fly by instead of impeding his path to Howard. Maybe both believe that they had elite rim protection behind them and Howard could handle his own. Instead, he was caught off guard by Bryant who had nothing but destruction on his mind as he approached the rim.