Kirk Snyder on Von Wafer vs Gerald Wallace on Bostjan Nachbar
This dunk matchup is one of unheralded dunks by equally unheralded players. Through the use of YouTube, viewers can now watch dunks on demand, playing and replaying basketball's greatest slams. It also allows dunks to become sensationalized, and set aside from the game itself as a singular highlight, an entity unto itself. A dunk represents momentary triumph; the battle won, but not the war. Yet, on YouTube each play exists for the glorification of that singular moment.
And this blog exists to glorify it even further. This matchup is "the best dunk you've never seen" both of these from obscure games with obscure dunkers and victims. Of this blog's four-man cast, Wallace is the best-known, but primarily he is known as an underrated player.
Both dunks got a huge initial reaction from all the people lucky enough to actually be in the building to witness the night those dunks happened. Many people will have watched the games on TV that night and jumped out of their seats on this dunks, but the majority of the people out there (like you and I) sharing and enjoying this dunk are a result of the communicative power of the internet. Still, only a measley 40k people watched the Snyder dunk, while just 16k have viewed the Wallace dunk, but both are dunks that would probably have been forgotten in the pre-YouTube era.
When you ask people the best dunk they've ever seen, it's an easy call to make Carter over Weis the throwaway #1. He goes over him. It's something that people will argue has never happened before or since, and certainly not in an NBA game. Yet, here we are. And this Dunk Vs series is about the best NBA dunk, not about bending the rules to include international competition. Sure, Von Wafer is no seven-footer, and Kirk Snyder is no Vince Carter, but the effect is the same; completely over a guy. Plus, it's at home, against the Lakers.
If the Snyder dunk was right over a player, the Wallace dunk might be the best example of going through a player. This is one of the most explosive one-footed dunks I have ever seen and it always surprises me how fast and how high Wallace gets up. Gerald "Crash" Wallace is young in this clip, still with the Kings before becoming the face of the Bobcats and currently with Portland, making him even more of an unknown at the time of this dunk. The twist on the way down makes it almost seem like a 360 dunk, but that's just part of the dismount as he sticks the landing. Wallace is at home too and the crowd responds, and the announcer says the play was "boombastically dunkalicious" or something like that...
It's a tough call, but I give the nod to Kirk Snyder over Von Wafer. The fact that he goes over the top of him makes this dunk unique. I'm sure that Wallace would have cleared Nachbar with the height he had on this dunk, if their bodies were angled differently. Wallace may have risen higher, and knocked his victim to the ground, but the sound of the rim snapping back on the Kirk Snyder dunk perfectly punctuates an NBA milestone; jumping directly over a player. In the future, there will be a top 10 "dunks over players," but for now Kirk Snyder is a pioneer. Vince Carter's lambasting of Weis may have been the Big Bang, but the Snyder dunk makes it a reality and hopefully Kobe, Melo, Blake, Durant, Bron and Wade, DeMar, Josh Smith and Rudy Gay are watching this right now saying "Ahhh... so it is possible."
Winner: Kirk Snyder on Von Wafer