The Dunk King

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Dunk King TV Poster Image
B-ball dunkers fly high, get creative, for cash and crown.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Creativity, athleticism, and sportsmanship are all good things. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The audience is supportive, and judges aren’t overly critical. 


Some dunk stunts potentially dangerous.


Mild innuendo that will go over kids' heads; bare abs visible.




Show sponsored by the NFL. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Dunk King is an NBA-themed reality competition featuring basketball dunkers from around the world competing for a cash prize. There's lots of swagger, but the overall show is largely enthusiastic and supportive. The word "hell" is sometimes audible, and some of the dunks are potentially dangerous (though no one gets hurt).

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What's the story?

DUNK KINGS is a competition series featuring top basketball dunkers netting the ball for cash and a crown. Thirty-two men, ranging from students, street ball players, engineers, and YouTube sensations from the U.S., Canada, Jamaica, and France show off their dunking skills to NBA basketball champs Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Brent Barry, former NBA player and winner of the 1996 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. They each have three attempts to perform two dunks and are scored according to their originality, aerial activity, and ability to do dunks that NBA players cannot do. Throughout it all, the show’s hosts, former NBA player Kenny Smith and TV personality Terrence Jenkins, offer enthusiastic commentary and encouragement. The top-scoring dunkers move onto the semi and final rounds until the one judged to be the best dunker wins $100,000 and the Dunk King crown.

Is it any good?

The energetic, testosterone-filled reality game show features lots of swagger as men show off their skills on the court. While some of the dunks have lots of flair, it's often the slow-motion replays that demonstrate the technical merit of each one. The host and audience reactions are also entertaining.

Watching people dunk balls over and over might get a little tedious for anyone who isn’t a hard-core basketball fan. Meanwhile, the NBA-themed show excludes female competitors and only shows women in the audience. But if you generally enjoy the sport, chances are you'll still find it fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sport of dunking. How do athletes make throwing a ball into a basket creative and challenging? What kind of athletic skills do you need to have to do it well?

  • Men and women play professional and amateur basketball. Why, then, are men usually featured as basketball players in popular media? What messages does this send to viewers about athletes? What impact does it have on the way girls and boys see themselves as athletes?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

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