Darrell ‘Dr. Dunkenstein’ Griffith Picked As Greatest Dunker In Utah Jazz History

Mar 4, 2021, 2:04 PM
Darrell Griffith - Utah Jazz...
1989-1990: Darrell Griffith of the Utah Jazz in action with the ball during a game against the Denver Nuggets at McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado. (Credit: Tim de Frisco /Allsport / Getty Images)
(Credit: Tim de Frisco /Allsport / Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A group of NBA insiders voted on the “most iconic dunker” for each team and selected Utah legend Darrell “Dr. Dunkenstein” Griffith as greatest dunker in Jazz history.

In honor of the upcoming Slam Dunk Contest during NBA All-Star weekend, ESPN insiders voted on each team’s greatest dunker in franchise history.

Griffith was picked as the greatest dunker in Jazz franchise history.

According to ESPN, the criteria used for selecting iconic dunkers for each team included “a player’s in-game dunks, performance in the slam dunk contest, innovation and signature moments.”

Griffith received 45.8 percent of the vote for current and former Jazz dunkers.

“Nicknames are earned, not given. And there aren’t too many cooler than Griffith’s “Dr. Dunkenstein,” ESPN’s Eric Woodyard wrote. “Before current Utah star Donovan Mitchell made the move from Louisville to Salt Lake City, there was another high flyer who already had laid that foundation in Griffith. Griffith’s No. 35 is hanging in the rafters of Vivint Arena after he treated fans to countless dunk shows. At 6-4, Griffith could fly with the best of them, in the dunk contest and during in-game action. That’s the reason the iconic Nike poster of him dressed as a doctor — holding two half basketballs with smoke coming out of them — is forever a classic.”

Despite never winning the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest like other Jazzmen have, Griffith received more votes as Utah’s best all-time dunker.

The other Jazz players to receive votes included Donovan Mitchell (33.3 percent), Karl Malone (16.7 percent), and Jeremy Evans (4.2 percent).

Both Mitchell (2018) and Evans (2012) were crowned champions of the Slam Dunk Contest.

About Darrell Griffith

After his college career at Louisville, Griffith was drafted by the Jazz with the No. 2 overall pick in 1980.

Griffith won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award following his first season.

During the 1984 and 1985 seasons, Griffith participated in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest.

He played his entire career in Utah, which lasted from 1980-91.

Griffith ended his NBA career with 12,391 points, 2,519 rebounds, and 1,627 assists.

His No. 35 jersey was retired by the Jazz organization in 1993.

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