Very few acts in the world of sport assert manly dominance like the put back dunk. With its abrupt barbarity and one-upmanship, taking a ball that wasn’t meant for you, and slamming it through the rim, is the Miller Lite of basketball production.
In the moments after one occurs, seeds of unparalleled embarrassment are planted deep in the victim’s brain, while the dunker’s energy extends like sharp tentacles—from the other nine guys on the court, to the lonely man sitting in section 403 who just removed his pants and is madly waving them over his head.
For a split second, the move impacts the game greater than a 16-foot jump shot ever could. It causes a crowd to either enter brief pandemonium or sit on its collective hands like a reprimanded kindergarten class. It’s an opportune hustle play, not done for personal glory or individual accolades, and when it’s complete everyone is affected.
The put back dunk takes timing, intuitiveness, and, obviously, incredible leaping ability. Some players who possess all three go entire careers without tasting one. Its existence is their white whale (or Robert Redford’s Demi Moore). Others have felt the great feeling, and will someday relay the one-of-a-kind euphoria to their grandchildren.
Through his very first handful of games, Chandler Parsons has nearly half a dozen of them, each one inspiring greater awe than its predecessor. It’s become as unexplainable as it is amazing; the nightly put back dunks are somehow overshadowing what has become the league’s most pleasant, and consistent, surprise.
Parsons isn’t just a rookie, he’s a second round throw in on a draft night deal designed to shed a little salary space. Houston sent Brad Miller, Nikola Mirotic and a future 1st round draft pick to Minnesota for Jonny Flynn (booo), Donatas Motiejunas, and a future 2nd round draft pick. Later that night, Parsons was traded yet again, this time from Minnesota back to Houston for cold hard cash.
That doesn’t sound like the type of player who’s truly valued as a possible starter, now does it? Parsons is this year’s Landry Fields, only more athletic and far less vulnerable. He’s locking down John Wall and glaring at Blake Griffin. If opposing NBA teams don’t start boxing him out when Houston’s shot goes up, we may have a serious cult following on our hands. Add to this he’s locked down for the next four seasons at a ridiculously small salary, and what we have is pure gold.
Before placing most of his dunks in this post and exploding your internet connection, here are a few quotes Parsons—along with his teammates and coaches—has had to say in reference to what everyone else is already talking about.
Parsons, on if he’s surprised: “I really am. I’m not gonna lie and say I’m not. Because I had a lot in college, but, like, to keep doing this consecutively, it could be luck, getting lucky bounces off the rim. But I’m just going to keep going hard until somebody stops me.”
Kevin McHale, on possible reasons for Parsons’ success: “He just does things,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “He makes plays on the ball.”
Patrick Patterson via SB Nation: “He’s got a knack for getting to the rim. He seeks it out every single game, you know, he will get one.”
And now, some uninterrupted goodies: