Before his time on the Houston Rockets, Chris Paul had a vicious dunk over Dwight Howard as a New Orleans Pelican, which he re-visited recently.
In just his second year in the league, Chris Paul put the NBA on notice that he could get up. Paul spent six years in New Orleans and six more in Los Angeles before his time with the Houston Rockets, establishing himself as one of the league’s premier point guards along the way.
During a December 2006 matchup with the Orlando Magic, CP3 found an opening in the middle of the paint, got the step on Dwight Howard and made him pay. The resulting dunk shocked everyone including himself, which Paul talked about on Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles.
“I sort of surprised myself, to tell you the truth,” said Paul. “I split the screen right to the middle. If you see, it’s a weird dunk because I used to dunk one-handed back then but I was scared because I felt this body. So I actually dunked and I tried to grab with two hands.”
When asked by Richardson and Miles about if the dunk was his favorite, Paul’s answer wasn’t surprising. “Yeah, other than this one I got in the church league,” said Paul. “I got a nice one in the church league one time on some dude’s head, two hands.”
Being 6-foot-1 and getting such a vicious dunk over 6-10 Dwight Howard was impressive enough, but the fact that Howard went on to establish himself as one of the league’s best defenders ever makes it even more special.
CP certainly hasn’t forgotten about the dunk 14 years later, as he mentioned on the podcast. “That’s why when kids ask me in camp, ‘can you dunk?’, I’ll be like, YouTube, YouTube,” said Paul with a chuckle.
Howard’s encounter with Chris Paul as a Houston Rocket
Paul and Howard had more encounters throughout the years, including one of the funniest intentional fouls the league has ever seen when Dwight was playing for the Houston Rockets during the 2015 Western Conference Semifinals.
Trying to get a loose-ball foul called on him to send Howard to the line, Paul proceeded to force Howard to give him a piggyback ride as DeAndre Jordan was shooting a free throw. Howard talked on The Jump about what he was thinking during that play, starting below at the 1:09 mark.
Meanwhile, the rest of the episode discussing Paul’s dunk and more is available below, with the dialogue about the vicious slam starting at 38:42.
Now at age 34, Paul might not be able to get up like he used to, but he’ll always have the memory of posterizing a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.