One Frame At A Time: GRIII's Greatest Dunks
Rudimentary photoshop skills + advanced dunking ability = this
Yesterday's post on Glenn Robinson III actually began as an attempt to compile his greatest GIFs, only to morph into something different when the process of narrowing down my list of favorites proved extremely difficult. If you haven't, read that for an impassioned discussion of GRIII being much more than Just A Dunker.
With that said, the dunks were pretty fun, you guys. I've combed through my hard drive and picked out my 20 favorite GRIII dunk GIFs. These aren't necessarily his 20 best dunks as a Wolverines—I didn't (quite) GIF everything from the last two seasons—but it's a pretty great sampling nonetheless. Throw on the Space Jam soundtrack and let's do this.
Click on the still frames to open each GIF in a lightbox, and don't forget to vote for your favorite at the end of the post.
20. Beilein +2
Not the most elaborate dunk, though the elevation always impresses. This just happened to be the best view of John Beilein's offense at work—watch Caris LeVert make a subtle cut across the lane just as Mitch McGary sets a sneaky pick to give GRIII an uncontested run to the rim. It's a gorgeous play with a pretty nice finish, too.
19. The Genesis
I had to include the first Robinson alley-oop, from the season-opening exhibition against Northern Michigan in 2012. The first, and by no means the last, time that GRIII dunked through significant contact with no call, which will be a running theme throughout this post.
Also, the title of this GIF on my computer is "griiialleyoop.gif" because I lack foresight, apparently.
18. Style Points
Trey Burke's pass may be the prettiest part of this—if it isn't the uniforms—but Robinson makes this look so smooth, especially with the way he spins through the landing.
Another running theme: defenders seeing GRIII tear through the lane and freezing like deer in headlights. Austin Hollins wanted absolutely none of this. The next dunk on the list validates this course of action...
16. Late Contest Blues
Included because (1) dat pass, (2) oh, just casually dunking all over some schlub, and (3) the look of devastation of Sasa Borovnjak's face as he realizes how damn idiotic it was to try and stop this from happening.
[Hit the appropriately named JUMP for the top 15.]
15. Mind The Backboard
I'm just sayin', it'd be a pretty cool tribute to GRIII if somebody put a sticker of his face under the corner of the Crisler backboards, because he nearly imprinted it there himself on multiple occasions.
14. Burke-to-GRIII Destroys Florida, Part I
Speaking of backboards, the integrity of this particular one has been severely compromised. That GRIII could generate this much power despite having to bring a low lob up to the rim—as opposed to taking a high pass and ramming it down—is especially impressive.
The camera angle adds a lot to this one, as it looks like GRIII is dunking on you, as opposed to a hacking Gabriel Olaseni and a cannot-be-bailing-fast-enough Mike Gesell. I'm sorry for whatever I did, Mr. Robinson. Please don't hurt me.
12. Didn't See You Down There
Rick Barnes, if you stick a 5'11" point guard under the basket against a human pogo stick, this is going to happen a lot. Luckily for Javan Felix, this play occurs so high in the air it'll take a really tall poster for him even to get in the frame.
11. Ran Too Fast, Didn't Matter
Look at that still for a sec. GRIII hauled ass down the court so fast that he couldn't gather himself for this lob in complete control, yet he somehow manages to throw it down while his momentum has carried most of his body behind the backboard. This is just freakish.
10. Bull In A China Shop
The whole uncalled foul thing? Yeah. Terran Petteway flat-out grabs Robinson with two hands at midcourt, and when that does nothing to slow GRIII's roll, he shoves him in the small of the back right at liftoff. Even while taking a much more accelerated path to the baseline than he planned—I don't think nearly crash-landing into the basket support was the initial idea—Robinson puts it down with authority.
9. Thanks, Adidas
Sure, the star of this play is Spike and his absurd off-hand threading of the defense, but when you manage to dunk despite a defender turning your basketball jersey into a '90s-style tearaway, you get some serious bonus points.
8. Burke-to-GRIII Destroys Florida, Part II
With dunks, as is the case with many things, it's the little details that separate the good from the great. In this case, it's Robinson deciding in mid-flight that instead of a two-handed power slam, he'd prefer the righty tomahawk. It was a good choice.
7. Why Not?
Oh so casually, Robinson takes an alley-oop feed and DUNKS IT DIRECTLY BEHIND HIS HEAD WHILE MOVING LATERALLY ACROSS THE BASKET.
I could try this on a Little Tikes hoop and there'd be a 97% chance I break multiple bones and tear every ligament in my body.
6. Deal With It
You're gonna want to box that guy out next time, Nebraska.
I'm so happy my second-favorite GRIII lob ever got the full BTN Journey cinematic treatment. We are all that kid just to the right of the backboard, which, once again, threatens to decapitate our brave protagonist.
4. You Got Me Floatin'
Well that's gonna be a contested layu--OH SWEET JESUS.
3. The GR360
Yes, I put the in-game 360 all the way down at #3. Hear me out on this before demanding my immediate incarceration in Blogger Prison.
It's an incredible dunk. To pull this off during a game is patently absurd. The finish, however, is just a little bit weak. (It's easier to see that from this angle—his momentum carries him a little further away from the basket than he wanted.) That's just enough to put it behind the next two dunks in my mind.
2. Glide Mode
The levitation. The cock-back. The MJ-esque leg kick. This isn't basketball. This is performance art.
That GRIII seems to be on a downward trajectory by the time he reaches the rim reminds me of one of my favorite dunks of all time, this soaring transition throwdown by the great Clyde Drexler.
1. GRIII As Vicious Hat
As Kevin Harlan would say, WITH NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE.
ONE! MORE! YEAR!
Also, I feel like we're missing one, but I can't figure out which one it is. Didn't get dunk on someone else in his career?
It may not posses the high flying and power of the ones posted, but I loved the in-bounds play (I think it was against Purdue) where they inbounded the ball to GRIII, he faked the handoff to the guy who inbounded the ball to him, turned baseline, realized he had an open path, and made sure everyone defended both options of that play from that day forward.
It's too MJ for this Chicagoan not to love.
Also, as was noted by your earlier excellent post (which GR3 retweeted), I think we're going to miss watching this guy play for Michigan.
Everytime I see that dunk...the dunk is cool,but his salute and bench mob reaction.
got my vote.
What about his dunk vs Purdue at home? Baseline slam out of the out of bounds play
Explosive player, monster dunker
His game was so subtle and so explosive at the same time. All the little things and all the big things. Not showy, but still spectacular.
I very much look forward to watching him do unfair things at the Slam Dunk Contest in the future.
Man, Minnesota will not miss that guy.
Great tribute. A lot of highlights in two short years.
Glide mode getting a lot of love on the poll by the way.
The timing of the AHHHHHHH dunk is too good not to get my vote. Plus he hung in the air for a good two seconds because he jumped too early - which gave him enough time to realize that his head would hit the backboard if he didn't duck out of the way.
I had to vote for The Glide because it looks so effortless and from that distance. Ridiculous. Also can they please wear those throwback uniforms from that PSU game more often? Maybe permanently.
The glide. Athleticism at its finest.
Hope we see a lot of that in the NBA