Skip to main content

When you think of Michael Jordan, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it’s his six championships or clutch shots. However, there was one moment in Jordan’s career that many people may not remember or have even seen. Here’s what we know about Jordan’s backboard-shattering moment and a few more of our favorites.

Jordan’s backboard breaking moment

Just before the start of Jordan’s sophomore season (after winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award), he put on a show in Italy during an international tour. During a fast break transition, details SB Nation, Jordan rose from near the free-throw line and threw down a thunderous one-handed slam, shattering the backboard. 

He didn’t dunk on anyone, but the look on the opposing players’ faces was one of sheer awe. He put on an offensive clinic the entire game, but this was the moment that stood out to us as one of the most forgotten of his career.

Jordan hasn’t been the only player to break a backboard. Here are some more dunks that will make your jaw drop.

Shaquille O’Neal’s jams

One of the best dunks on this list involves Shaquille O’Neal taking the entire hoop down against the New Jersey Nets. Shaq went for a two-handed jam along the baseline and proceeded to throw it down with the scoreboard almost hitting him in the head. He didn’t shatter the backboard but it was still a sight to see. (There were also numerous moments of Shaq breaking the backboard and rim during practice.)

Darryl Dawkins

During an era of the NBA dominated by high-flyers, Darryl Dawkins, aka Dr. Dunk, proved to be one of the best. Both of his infamous rim-shattering moments came in a span of three weeks. The first was against the Philadelphia 76ers. Dawkins took a pass in the paint and made a double-clutch dunk, destroying the backboard.

The second came a few weeks later against the San Antonio Spurs. During a fast break, Dawkins received the pass going toward the hoop and made another rim shattering two-handed slam. The crowd understandably went crazy, and many NBA greats view it as Dawkins’ best dunk of his career.

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan is known as one of the game’s most fearsome dunkers — just ask Brandon Knight. But his dunk against the Warriors got the attention of everyone, including teammate Chris Paul, who had to alert the referees about the mishap. DeAndre received an alley-oop pass from Jamal Crawford and dunked in a two-handed slam.

Boban Marjanovic

This one didn’t surprise us one bit. Heading into the 2019-20 NBA season Marjanovic was listed as the heaviest player in the league. Standing at 7-foot-4, 291 pounds, it’s no wonder he isn’t on this list multiple times.

The Clippers faced off against the Nuggets in 2018, and Marjanovic received a pass in the paint. After brushing off two Jazz defenders swiping at the ball, Marjanovic dunked the ball with one hand and proceeded to hang on the rim afterward. This bent the hoop so badly that the game stopped for officials to fix it.


Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain Combined to Miss More Than 11,000 Free Throws in Their Pro Careers