(Dec. 21) -- It's true. The Dunk HQ is designed to spotlight the absolute best slams of the season. But even in these parts, there comes a time when you have to break away from tradition on special occasions.
It's with great pleasure that we use our special occasion life-line on Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon. While his slams didn't exactly meet the Dunk HQ standard, it would be irresponsible if we didn't shed light on a player serving not one, but two All-Universe stars in the same game.
Take a look as Brogdon first lets Kyrie Irving have it:
... And then saved something later for LeBron James.
Gotta give it up for Brog Dog (word is that's what they call him). You have to wonder who else he has on his All-Star facial checklist.
With that said, we return to the Dunk HQ countdown of the season's top jams so far:
1. The Next Generation
When you're the son of one of the forefathers of the dunk, there's a chance that you can make poppa proud when you do things like this. And with it being the Holiday Season, Larry Nance, Jr. proves he's in the mood of giving as he gift wraps us all -- NBA fans, his Lakers teammates, the Nets' bench, and especially Brook Lopez -- with possibly the dunk of the year.
2. A Raptor Party
We knew you couldn't quit the Dunk HQ, Terrence Ross. It's a pleasure to have you back once again. What a show Ross and high-flying Raptors partner DeMar DeRozan put on in Philly. Ross gets the edge for the silky-smooth, open-court creativity (and for not travelling ...), but even Ross had to "ooh and ahh" at DeRozan's flush in a moment of game recognizing game.
3. Zach's Back
Surprise, surprise. It's Zach LaVine, one of the most exciting faces of the dunk. Known for his ability to do just about anything during what seems like endless hang time, this one-time chart-topper (before Larry Nance, Jr. claimed the No. 1 spot) shows us another side of his aerial game: the poster. Sure, he shines as a creative contest dunker, but he can easily catch defenders sleeping in-game if they're not careful.
4. Lucky Lefty
Russell Westbrook has been on a tear to open the season, finding triple-double ways to keep the reshaped Thunder competitive on a nightly basis. He's also found another way to tear the hearts out of opponents: the game-sealing lefty banger. You already know what he's capable of with his right hand. Now he adds the left? Let us pray ...
And for added effect ...
5. An Early Glimpse
If there's anyone who is sure to give reigning Sprite Slam Dunk champ Zach LaVine a run for his money in his quest for a third straight title, it's Aaron Gordon. After an unforgettable performance in last year's contest, Gordon is already showing in-game signs that he's ready for his rematch with LaVine.
6. Victor Oladipo Impresses A Legend
For dunk historians like myself, this one from Victor Oladipo was pretty special. Let's set the scene: Thunder at Hawks, where none other than dunk legend Dominique Wilkins is part of the Hawks' broadcast team. Oladipo's side-cocking, double-clutch jam on Dwight Howard is very reminiscent of two of 'Nique's best, which you can see at No. 9 and No. 1 of Wilkins' best slams. To do it in front of the Human Highlight Film and evoke an "Oh my goodness!" response from someone who knows a thing or two about quality slams signifies a super job well done for Oladipo.
7. Around The World With Giannis
Giannis Antetokounmpo cracks the countdown because: A) We'll always be fans of open-court creativity and B) Who doesn't love the two-hand windmill? What can't Milwaukee's Mr. Do-It-All point-forward-center do? If you say ping-pong, guess again.
8. Wind Me Up
In staying with the windmill theme, we shine the spotlight on someone who isn't new to the Dunk HQ limelight. Try to let this one soak in, NBA fans. It's hard to imagine at this stage of his career that LeBron James is still able to do things like this. But it's nothing new for The King, who clearly is still in the business of blowing minds.
9. Danilo Gallinari's Reverse Stuff
When Danilo Gallinari drove through traffic to dunk it in reverse (and on a defender), our memory bank got to churning. Anybody remember dunk master Shawn Kemp? If not, refresh your memory and direct your attention to No. 3 on that list. In no way are we putting Gallo on the dunking level of Kemp, but the end result is all the same -- a dropped jaw.
10. Hassan Whiteside's Got Talent
The fans up north in The Six have developed a reputation as a raucous bunch. And as the first NBA home of Half Man-Half Amazing Vince Carter, they know a good dunk when they see one. Except they showed no love to Hassan Whiteside, who proved that today's NBA big man isn't our grandfather's NBA big man. Dikembe Mutombo definitely couldn't pull this off.