NBA games feature incredible athletic feats all the time, but to me, the most breathtaking display is when someone flies over or around someone for a slam dunk. Sure, there's a raw appeal when players just drive through their opponents when they're in the way, but that move is simply just a matter of strength. Jumping around and over opponents? That requires meg strength, agility, body control, explosiveness, quick-twitch muscles and so much more.
This is especially true when the dunk itself is set up by a dribble-drive move that allows the player to navigate around defenders like they're traffic cones.
We've picked five examples of Jordan Brand players showing how they "Fly Over" opponents. Check out the picks, then vote in the poll at the end of the post. Last week, we presented our five favorite "Fly Through" picks, and later this week, we'll present our five favorite "Fly Around" picks. After that, we'll put together the top picks from each category to determine the best Flight Meter highlight from the Jordan Brand stable.
PICK 1: Dwyane Wade Dunks On Kendrick Perkins
This is the first of three Dwyane Wade entries in this vote, which goes to show you that Wade pretty much defines this category. His ability to weave through defenders was on full display, as he delivered a lightning-quick spin move on Kevin Durant to get himself to the rim. From there, you could argue that he powered through Kendrick Perkins instead of jumping over him, but I'll say he jumped up -- not out.
PICK 1: Gerald Wallace Climbs Over Bostjan Nachbar
This dunk is several years old, but considering that the video's title is "Gerald Wallace flying over Houston's Nachbar for the dunk," I had to include it. Wallace is now an NBA veteran that jumps through players more than he jumps over them, but when he first entered the league, he had some incredible ups. Look at how his knee is level with Nachbar's neck on this jam.
PICK 3: Carmelo Anthony swerves around three Celtics
While watching Sunday night's All-Star Game, it suddenly hit me that I can't remember the last time Carmelo Anthony threw down a vicious dunk. Did he lose his hops? Did he really have hops to begin with? The answer to the latter question is clearly yes because several years ago, Anthony did this to the Boston Celtics. Like the Wade dunk above, this one features Anthony slithering around a couple defenders and jamming over a third.
PICK 4: Dwyane Wade in the 2006 NBA Finals
We picked this one because it happened on one of the world's biggest stages. There's Wade splitting a double team, then elevating to the rim for the huge throwdown. To do this in a regular-season game is impressive enough, but this was in the NBA Finals against an elite defensive team. Those types of plays aren't supposed to happen under those circumstances.
PICK 5: Dwyane Wade jams on Emeka Okafor
Based on just the dunk itself, this play is probably more impressive than the one above it. Emeka Okafor is a legitimate shot blocker, and he's actually challenging Wade at the rim, whereas Erick Dampier kind of arrives late. But do you weigh the stage when making your decision? Is there a difference between dunking in the NBA Finals and dunking in a regular-season game against the Bobcats? That's up to you to decide.
Which highlight best exemplifies the "Fly Over" attribute? Make your choice below, and stay tuned for the next round of highlights.