His .366 career average remains — and will remain — the highest in baseball history. Jordan was an athletic, skilled and quick defender with nice footwork and nice work with the hands that made him such a nice overall player and lock-down stopper any night. Bill Russell had it best with the C's way back, who from day one single-handedly turned them from a super offensive team, to a superb defensive team,l ed by the same player to win an amazing 11 championships in 13 years. First, it was done by ESPN's "Sports Science," not the combine. His skills, toughness and aggressiveness made him just a lock down standout. Everybody knows Michael Jordan, right? Meanwhile, Edmonds was an absolute star in the field. Objective analysis helps to identify those instances. It's a shame blocks and stats were not an official statistic during his time since his total would have probably topped anyone's. With all of the shenanigans hopefully behind him, look for him to have a bounce-back year in this department. Shawn Kemp was one of those players who wasn’t overrated necessarily, but he is oversized in our memory because of his big, splashy highlights. His “Jumpman” logo is still iconic. He had no problem shutting them all down as he masted the art of steals while not allowing a clear shot. A dominant rebounder he would have surely racked up alot more All-Defensive team selections if the first seven seasons of his career hadn’t been before they existed. The leading player from the Hall Of Fame nominations, Dennis Rodman was one of the greatest defenders in the history of the game called basketball. In truth, we know it’s because of the Elton John song “Benny and the Jets” as much as anything else. Hitting as a right-hander when Yankee Stadium’s left field was among MLB’s deepest, DiMaggio hit 361 HR (averaging 34 per season) while striking out just 369 times. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. Now he’s a two-time MVP, and The Greek Freak has entered the lexicon. However, Barkley was a hefty, formidable rebounder who wasn’t maybe as much of a physical specimen as some of his fellow big men. It could be partly due to the fact that he had an injury collection this year, including knee and back problems. He has muscles on his muscles. He measured a 33.5-inch vertical at the combine 12 years ago, and it's not likely he could match even that now. He'll stay at home and guard the post. The Selke Trophy did not exist for all of Ramsay’s career and he was awarded the prize just once in 1985 – which was more of a career achievement award than anything else. The last entry in the series, this list looks at the best defensive centers in NBA history. Because of that bumping, he's also able to draw his opponents into offensive fouls. According to 82games.com, his opponents only attempt 45 percent of their field goals inside the paint against him, which is just 1 percent off of what Joakim Noah has. All rights reserved. Further, it is believed Nighbor would have captured two additional Hart Trophies – 1917 and 1922 – had the award have been born a few years prior. No player — not even Mantle — dominated on his level for the ’50s and ’60s when he roamed center for the Giants and racked up two MVP awards, four home run titles, four stolen base titles, and one batting title. On the other hand, there is the whole stupid thing going on off the court and in the locker room. It's worth mentioning that these two things are not mutually exclusive. However, one day the closed captioning on a game turned “Nik Stauskas” into “Sauce Castillo.” In the modern era that was able to go viral, and a guy who never made much of an impact on the court got a great nickname anyway. We certainly do, and so do NBA fans. Simply that for one single season he was the best center of all-time. See for yourself: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/h2h_finder.cgi?request=1&p1=onealsh01&p2=olajuha01. Bill Russell would be number one on my list of defensive C’s. The .58 points per play he gives up in the post prove this. Next: He was almost guaranteed to get a hit every game. There’s a fair claim that there’s a case statistically (especially when factoring in quality of teammates) for Ramsay to be rated higher than Bob Gainey. It’s a pitch-perfect nickname. He does play alongside two other elite defenders, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, though, so they also get some of the credit for that. “I won the [Hart Trophy], but Nighbor is the greatest player in hockey.” – Howie Morenz after being presented the 1928 Hart Memorial Trophy. He's one of the stronger players in the league, and he doesn't get pushed back easily, even by players like Dwight Howard. With two MVP awards, three No. While there's more involved as to why that is than his own play, it's hard to give him a perfect score when his impact is a net negative. He has the will but not the speed to close well enough. So we're not left trying to explain how Roy Hibbert is not on the list but Kendrick Perkins is. People often forget about the 7-4 giant but he was a dominat defender in the 80’s and his career average of 3.5 BPG is first in NBA history. There's just not enough time to scout every player thoroughly. He's entering a point in his career where things should lock into place. He mostly made this list for his defence off the ball. In 2006 at the age of 36 he averaged an incredible 2.7 BPG in just 20 MPG and played an important role in bringing the Heat an NBA championship. His 4,189 hits and 2,244 runs are as eye-popping today as in 1928, when he retired as the most accomplished player of the era. It doesn’t matter. 11. Impressive, isn't it. He played a major role in keeping the newly-founded “offensive defenseman” in check because of his great closing speed and lateral agility.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_5',663,'0','0'])); He was elite or near elite in terms of offensive ability, including a wicked backhand release that left many goalies perplexed, but it was the little things that made Keon such a renowned defensive forward. IF not, that’d mean no defensive teams or rebounding titles for one of the greatest centers of all time. Duncan has learned every trick in the trade and probably invented about a half-dozen more. He's able to keep track of when it becomes more dangerous to leave his man alone than to help and makes the switch accordingly. Hakeem Olajuwon – 2 x DPOY, 5 x All-Defensive First Team, 4 x All-Defensive Second Team. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/450410-not-in-my-housethe-greatest-interior-defenders-in-the-nba-history/page/1, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/514977-defending-everythingthe-most-versatile-defenders-in-the-nba-history, Defensive Player Of The Year: 4 (2003,04,05,06____shares that record with Dikembe), All NBA Defensive Teams: 6 (5x All-First), Rebounds: 10,034 (10.1)------------------------------------1454 (11.2), Blocks: 2,055 (2,1)--------------------------------------------250 (1.9), Ranks No.16 in the playoffs history for most blocks per game recorded ever, Ranks No.10 in the playoffs history for most blocks, Ranks No.18 on the all time list for career blocks, Ranks No.41 in most rebounds grabbed per game in career, Ranks No.34 on the all time list for most career rebounds, Ranks No.55 on the all time lists for most steals, Had 6 seasons of at least,10+ boards,2+ blocks and 1+ steals per game. In his 17-year career, Jim Edmonds put up monster numbers playing mostly for the Angels (1993–99) and Cardinals (2000–07). He has impressive stats and looks that he was underrated on defense. Nate the great was considered the second best defensive center of his era behind Russell. There was a time when Pete Maravich was wearing a jersey that just said “Pistol” on it. The only one that was close (Alonzo Mourning) more than held his own. He's just not there yet. Next: He was highly productive over his long career. Shaq. His 393 HR rank ninth all-time among center fielders, while his .284 average and .903 OPS are testaments to his complete offensive attack. He's aware of what he can do, so he's able to give the right amount of space to lead the shooter to think he can pull up for the jump shot, but Gasol is quick enough to close the space and challenge it better than the shooter expects. *There are a small number of players, Derrick Rose, Danny Granger, Kevin Love and Andrew Bynum, who have been selected to at least one All-Star Game and are still in their prime but did not play sufficient minutes to qualify last season. Yet, when he was playing without those two, the Celtics were one point better defensively than when he was with them. The only reason he's not scored better is that, because of his age, he's playing fewer minutes, averaging just 29.7 last season. First, the objective analysis gives us a better starting point, helping to eliminate preconceptions. Not bad for an undersized, undrafted player. Rodman was an outsized personality, and he earned an outsized nickname. He leaves it all out on the court. He mostly stays at home with the opposing center, doing a good job of keeping him out of the restricted area and keeping him from scoring.

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