For the steals and blocks category I combined them into one. Defense to me is hustle, energy, not giving up on a play, and harassing the person you’re guarding. The players listed is complete with all these standards.
Once again, Big Ben is in another class. The defensive class. Wallace was key to the Detroit’s championship in 2004 for mainly his defense. The Pistons upset the stacked Los Angeles Lakers team that consists of Kobe, Shaq, Karl Malone, and Payton. Detroit was the better team through defense and Big Ben was all around the paint blocking shots, snatching steals, and rebounding. The undrafted player has made a name for himself in the NBA with a ring, 4x defensive player of the year, and 4 all-star seasons. They say “Defense wins Championships” and Ben surely proved he could help win one.
Artest has to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the league today. He’s able to stop his opponents in their tracks from going to the rim and strip the ball if he finds a chance. The former troubled star has built a reputation for himself of being a seriously great defender. Ron won’t stop picking at his adversaries. Coaches assign Artest to guard the opposite team’s main star. Through the few years, Artest has shaped up and is now playing for the Lakers who are the reigning NBA championship team. Artest’s tough defense will contribute to the team, and if the Lakers come anything shorter than another title would equal disappointment.
When you hear someone getting posterized, you think “man that defender should’ve gotten out of the way”. The thing for Alonzo is, he doesn’t care about being dunked on. The center goes for every dunk, lay up, or shot towards the rim. That’s tough man. It’s either you get the block or get dunked on. Zo finally got his ring with the Heat playing backup for the Miami Heat behind Shaq in 2006.
Other than being known for kicking people in the NBA, Bruce Bowen does have his good moments in the defensive end. As I said before, I like defenders that harass their opponents. Bruce gets under his match-up’s skin. He will stay in front of you and start picking where the ball is. His quick feet makes him easy to stay in front of players. Bruce was primarily known on the Spurs and for his addition of work for the three championships. Call him “a cheap player” or a “dirty player”. Bruce gets the work done for his team in the dirty work.
Who plays in the NBA at the age of 42 still? Dikembe Mutombo does. The 7’2 center will block shots coming at his way anyday, anytime. After a successful block, Mutombo would then wave a finger at his opponents saying “Nooo”. Until the NBA started a no taunting rule, Mutombo instead waved it towards the fans. The 2nd all time leader for blocks also has a wonderful heart by helping needy children across the world. I don’t know who can disrespect this man for all the hard work he has done and donated.
And last is Hakeem Olajuwon. If you have time to watch videos, go on youtube and search “Hakeem blocks”. Let me know which 90’s basketball star doesn’t get blocked by Hakeem. If they didn’t, they were probably to scared to head to the rim when Olajuwon was present. I feel Hakeem doesn’t get enough respect for his history in the league. Looking at these videos will change your mind.
Notable players: David Robinson, Dennis Rodman, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Gary Payton, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Doug Christie, Marcus Camby, Kevin Garnett.