Monday , Sep , 09 , 2013 Featured Guest Journalist

Top 5 Alley Oop Combos of All-Time

“We was the original Lob City.”

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: With the induction of Gary Payton into the Hall-of-Fame, we remember the original Lob City combo.

1991 Slam Dunk Contest

Gary Payton is remembered for his amazing defense that lead to his nickname “The Glove,” his relentless trash talking that earned him a place on every Top 10 NBA trash talking list, and part of the best alley oop combo in NBA history. Payton isn’t simply bragging when he calls the Kemp/Payton combo the original Lob City. He is stating basketball fact. 

We here at HoopsVibe came up with our Top 5 NBA alley oop combos of all time. We couldn’t actually cut it to 5, so we have the honorable mention spot too.

Honorable Mention: Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin. With an amazing assist man like Kidd and a dunk specialist like Martin, this was an alley oop lovers dream come true. This combo has both the quantity and quality of alley oops to make their own top 10 countdown. Check it out below.

5. Vince Carter and whoever passed him the ball. Lets start off by establishing that Vince “Vinsanity” Carter possessed a 43-inch vertical jump. This is what the kids call crazy hops. Ok, they did back in my day, but that was quite a while back. Anyway you call it, Vinsanity could leap. He’s played for Toronto, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, and Dallas. I can’t tie him to a specific alley oop combo, but his alley oops are legendary no matter who was lucky enough to get the assist.

4. Dwayen Wade and LeBron James. I debated the validity of this combo making the list, but the spectacular dunks of King James last season solidified the slot. I will admit though that this is a questionable alley oop combo in terms of quantity. Yet, what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in quality. See below.

3. Penny Hardaway and Shaq. This alley oop combo is a bit different than the others. Most alley oops are the mixture of a great lead pass and an amazing leaper. Shaq didn’t have a 40-inch vertical like some of these dunkers, but when you’re the most imposing low post player of your generation catching a lob for a flush isn’t that tough. These dunks were never the high-rise spectacular events of Vince Carter or Kenyon Martin. Shaq’s dunks can be characterized more as ferocious. Anyone silly enough to leave their hand near the rim when these were going down was likely to lose a limb.

2. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. This is the official Lob City. Blake has been accused of not being able to do much more than leap in the air and dunk, but with CP3 throwing the passes that’s all he needs to do. This is one of the most dynamic alley oop combos ever, but will it ever develop into a championship is another question.

1. Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. This is what “The Reignman” and “The Glove” were most known for. No one has pulled off the alley oop better or more frequently than the combo that made Seattle fans leap to their feet throughout the 90s. Kemp is definitely one of the greatest leapers in the history of the game and Payton knew how to deliver the ball in a location only someone with a 40-inch vertical jump to get to.  This is clearly the alley oop combo all others are measured against. Kemp and Payton made the alley oop a thing of true beauty.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

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