You know what this season made me notice? DeAndre Jordan is one of the five most athletic centers in NBA history.
It’s not like his athleticism changed pre-Doc Rivers, turning into a phenomenon overnight. With the increase in minutes thanks to Rivers instilling confidence in him and making him a serviceable big man, we got to see more and more of his athletic abilities. The blocks. The rebounds. The dunks. All of them each showcased something that is rare.
At one point I even questioned whether Jordan was the most athletic big man ever. In the end Wilt Chamberlain remained number one on the list, but it’s fair to say that Jordan is the most athletic big man this side of the 2000s and yes that includes prime, non-injured Dwight Howard.
This year with an improved offense, DeAndre Jordan did a lot of dunking, leading the league with 278 attempts and 245 makes, the runner-up in most dunks being Dwight Howard. Jordan’s 278 dunks is an extremely high number, being one of the highest we’ve seen in the new era of basketball. Here is a list dating back to the 2000-2001 season of players who posted 250 more dunk attempts (per Basketball-Reference):
- Dwight Howard (2007-08): 269-289
- DeAndre Jordan (2013-14): 245-278
- Dwight Howard (2006-07): 254-272
- Shaquille O’Neal (2002-03): 251-268
- Shaquille O’Neal (2004-05): 255-267
- Shaquille O’Neal (2001-02): 252-265
- Amar’e Stoudemire (2004-05): 237-260
There were posters (Sorry Serge Ibaka). There were crazy blocks (Sorry Russell Westbrook). There were crazy alley-oops (Sorry again Ibaka). What there wasn’t was a Brandon Knight replication though Gerald Wallace got extremely close, but walked past instead of contesting the dunk.
Now that I’ve warmed you up for the show, check out Jordan’s top ten plays of the NBA season below.