What does Posterize mean in Basketball?

To slam dunk the ball over an opponent in basketball

Ever seen a basketball player dunk on another player in a way that just makes you go ‘wow’? If you have, then you’ve seen a player get posterized. This term is all about capturing those moments when a player pulls off a dunk so cool that you’d want to put a picture of it on your wall, just like the posters kids often have of their favorite basketball players.

While it’s not clear who was the first to use the term ‘posterize’, NBA star Michael Jordan is often mentioned as the one who made it popular. Even today, it’s a term that’s often used by both fans and commentators when they’re talking about a really impressive slam dunk. But, it’s also a term that’s sometimes used too much, or in the wrong way.

For a dunk to truly posterize someone, it’s got to be something that really stands out. Maybe the player jumps really high, or maybe they pull off a dunk that you wouldn’t expect, like a tomahawk jam on a taller defender. But it’s not just about the dunk itself. The player that gets posterized has to be trying to stop the dunk from happening. If they’re just standing there, not doing anything, then they didn’t really get posterized.

Example for using ‘Posterize’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see that dunk last night?

Yeah, it was insane! He totally posterized the defender! 🏀🔥

I know, right? The way he jumped and slammed it down was epic!

Definitely! The defender had no chance against that dunk! 😱