John Starks’ iconic “The Dunk” will always be one of the greatest moments in the New York Knicks history. The dunk itself was already a thing of beauty, but above all, it became a perfect representation of that remarkable Knickerbocker grit at the time.
Like the Knicks faithful, Starks is still elated by “The Dunk” to this day. But having posterized an array of defenders during his prime, Starks has a lot of unforgettable dunks in his head, and of course, he also has his personal favorite.
As a fearless rim attacker, Starks was fond of throwing it down on much bigger defenders. So, when asked to reveal the best dunk he has ever pulled off outside “The Dunk,” Starks refreshed his memory back to the regular season game on January 5, 1992, when the Knicks faced the Phoenix Suns at the Madison Square Garden.
According to Starks, he dunked on then-Suns big man Mark West, a.k.a. “The Hammer,” after getting past his opponent off a jab-step move. Knowing West was roughly seven to eight inches taller, Starks stressed that it made that in-your-face dunk even more epic for a 6-foot-3 undersized shooting guard like him.
“I would say the dunk I had on Mark West during the regular season,” Starks told HoopsHype last year. “It was a play where I went baseline and he was up underneath the rim, and you know West is like 6-foot-10, 6-foot-11 and 270 or 280 pounds. And I just went over the top of him. That’s like the best feeling as a guard, to slam it down like that.”
A sweet moment
Surely, Starks could pick more unforgettable dunks from his collection if asked to. However, the fact of the matter is that nothing beats “The Dunk” as far as significance goes.
Like how he feels about the West dunk, Starks was also very proud of “The Dunk,” and he has all the right to be. For one, he pulled it off against the then-vaunted Chicago Bulls. More importantly, Starks and some fans later realized that “The Dunk” also featured Michael Jordan, who was famously on the wrong end of the story.
“It wasn’t until the next day in the newspaper that I saw who was in the backside of that play. It was Michael Jordan. And I was like, ‘Gotcha!’,” Starks once recalled.
Looking back, we couldn’t help but wonder what reputation Starks could’ve had as a dunker had he played in today’s game, where every dunk is being highlighted on the internet. We can only imagine.