Originally Posted by tomtucker
But is it really a dunk ?....... he throws the ball down the basket from a distance, to be a dunk i would say your hand has to be on the rim
This might sound ridiculous, but I think in the beginning of the slam dunk, hitting the rim could have very well just been a matter of happenstance. The idea behind the dunk was to force the ball into the basket.
For instance, if you and your friends are playing a game of paper wad basketball in class using a garbage bin as a basket, what will be the most effective shot, assuming your friends are playing defense? Shooting from deep? Or throwing it down into the garbage bin from close range? I feel comfortable assuming everyone would agree it's the latter. By extension, I think that was the original idea of the dunk, to force the ball into the hoop, preventing any unnecessary risks of having a shot blocked or altered. It just so happens, for 99% of dunk attempts, thrusting the ball downward into the basket will result in one's hand connecting with the rim.
Clearly, through the years, dunking developed its own separate style. For instance, I can't deny how fun it is to hang on the rim when I dunk. It's virtually never necessary, but I do it whenever I can anyway. Other people like to dunk as hard as they can while hitting their wrist or elbow on the rim. Still more (Carmelo Anthony) often prefer the throw down with little to no touch of the iron. What it comes down to is that a dunk is a throwdown. Whether someone's hand hits the rim, grabs the rim, or doesn't touch the rim altogether is merely style points.
I don't entirely understand the thought process behind folks who saw the Griffin highlight and said, "Whoa! What a dunk! Oh wait ... upon further review, I'm no longer excited because it appears as if his fingers didn't hit the rim enough." The overthinking by others about this process has in turn made me do the same, but from the other end of the spectrum.
To summarize, I feel strongly that a dunk is a throwdown. Historically, that was the whole idea behind the play in the first place. If a basketball player is able to jump high enough to where he'd be able to throw a ball into a 10 foot basket with extreme force without even touching the rim, I say more power to him, for that would be an excellent dunk.