What NBA Players Can’t Dunk?

We all know that NBA players are some of the best athletes in the world. But what about the players who can’t dunk?

While it may seem like all NBA players can dunk, there are actually quite a few who can’t. In fact, according to a recent study, only about 50% of NBA players can dunk.

So, who are the players who can’t dunk? And why can’t they do it?

Find out the answers to these questions


Basketball is a sport that is often defined by its athletes’ ability to soar through the air and finish with a thunderous dunk. For many players, dunking is not only a way to score points, but also a way to assert their dominance on the court.

While there are many players who can dunk with ease, there are also some who struggle to complete the feat. In this article, we will take a look at some of the NBA’s biggest stars who cannot dunk.

NBA Players Who Can’t Dunk

In the NBA, there are a lot of players who can dunk the basketball. However, there are also a lot of players who cannot dunk. This list will cover some of the players in the NBA who cannot dunk.

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most notable players in NBA history who couldn’t dunk. Standing at 7-feet-1, O’Neal was a physical specimen who just couldn’t quite manage to stuff the ball through the hoop with one hand. He came close on multiple occasions but ultimately never succeeded in throwing down a canonical dunk during an NBA game.

Yao Ming

Yao Ming is a Chinese retired professional basketball player who played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. At 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in), he is the tallest active player in the NBA, and is also the first Asian player to be drafted No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft. In October 8, 2011, Yao was elected into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Among many other accomplishments, Yao is commonly known for his remarkable dunks, which led many fans and analysts to call him “the next Shaquille O’Neal”. However, there are a few moments during his NBA career when Yao Ming failed to execute a successful dunk attempt.

Tim Duncan

At 6’11”, Tim Duncan is one of the most successful players in NBA history. He’s a five-time champion, a two-time MVP, and a surefire Hall of Famer. But for all his accomplishments, there’s one thing that Duncan can’t do: dunk.

It’s not for lack of effort. In fact, Duncan has tried to dunk on multiple occasions, but he just doesn’t have the hops. In 2000, he famously tried to dunk on Shaquille O’Neal, but Shaq swatteď it away. Duncan has also been known to try dunks in practice, but he always misses.

So why can’t Tim Duncan dunk? It’s probably because he doesn’t really need to. At 6’11”, he’s tall enough to get his shot off against most defenders, and his long arms make him a very formidable presence in the post. Plus, Duncan is an exceptional free throw shooter (he’s a career 80.2% shooter from the line), so he can always get points that way if needed.

In the end, Tim Duncan not being able to dunk is more of a quirk than anything else. It doesn’t stop him from being one of the greatest players in NBA history.

Why Can’t They Dunk?

In the NBA, there are a lot of players who can’t dunk. This seems strange because they are all tall and have a lot of power. There are a few reasons why they can’t dunk. One reason is because they are not explosive enough. Another reason is because they don’t have the right technique. Let’s take a closer look at these two reasons.

Lack of athleticism

Many NBA players can’t dunk because they lack the athleticism required to do so. While some players are born with the natural ability to jump high and run fast, most players have to work hard to develop these skills.

Some players simply don’t have the physical tools to dunk. They may be too short, too skinny, or too slow. Others may have the physical tools but lack the coordination or explosiveness required to use them effectively.

Finally, some players may be able to dunk but choose not to because they think it’s not worth the effort. Dunking is a high-risk maneuver that can lead to injuries, so some players prefer to avoid it.

Poor jumping ability

There are a variety of reasons why NBA players can’t dunk. Poor jumping ability is one reason. Other reasons include inheriting bad genes, being too short, or possessing a poor vertical leap.

Most NBA players can dunk, but there are always a few exceptions. For example, players like Allen Iverson and Steve Nash were both excellent shooters but weren’t known for their dunking ability. Additionally, players like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are taller than average but don’t have an elite vertical leap.

Short arms

While there are a number of reasons why some NBA players can’t dunk, one of the most common reasons is that they simply don’t have the arm length to do so.

Dunking requires a lot of upper body strength, as well as coordination and timing. Players with short arms simply may not have the power or the coordination to perform a successful dunk.

Other reasons why some players may not be able to dunk include being too short, not having enough explosiveness, and having too much weight. While there are players in the NBA who are shorter than average or not particularly explosive, they make up for it in other ways and are still able to dunk.


The above list is by no means exhaustive, but it does include some of the most common dunks that are attempted in games. NBA players are some of the best athletes in the world, and they make it look easy when they dunk on opponents. However, there are still some players who struggle with this basic basketball move.

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