Roland Tran's Blog


Mar 22

Greatest Athletes in NBA History (GW is #10 and "The Glyde" is #4

By Roland
This blog is an excerpt from the article "One man's list of the greatest NBA athletes ever" by Steve Aschburner from  The NBA players are listed in the following order: #10 Gerald Wallace, #9 Calvin Murphy, #8 Dwight Howard, #7 David Robinson, #6 Dominique Wilkens, #5 Bill Russell, #4 Clyde Drexler, #3 Michael Jordan, #2 Lebron James, and #1 Wilt Chamberlain. Also included are the monikers of each player such as His Airness for Jordan, D12 for Howard (strange), and Clyde the Glyde along with the highlights of each player. The following are unique quotations and observations from others on the athletic prowess of these men.

Gerald Wallace #10
"I never saw a guy who could run and jump like that," Adelman said. "He played one year at Alabama and played in the AAU, where his whole life he just stood around on defense and knew nothing about how to play. But you let him run and jump, he was almost dangerous to himself. The stuff he would try was just crazy. I never saw anybody cover ground like him, and I saw him do dunks that were incredible. He's developed into a nice player where he uses his athletic ability to his advantage. But when he came in as a rookie, he was so raw ... but he made practices fun to watch."

David Robinson #7
"The first thing you see with David is his athleticism," Popovich told reporters this summer prior to Robinson's Class of 2009 Hall of Fame induction. "Just imagine him as a young man, walking in and doing a handstand from one end to the other. At 7-foot-1 or whatever he is. He did a handstand! From one end line to the other! Then he runs the floor and beats everybody in the sprints. Then they're throwing balls up to him and he's dunking over everybody -- after a full-speed run, he plants his feet and has the balance and the coordination to go up and dunk it over people. It took one practice and everybody knew that this was a different deal."

Bill Russell #5
"He's a fantastic athlete," teammate John Havlicek said then. "He could have been the decathlon champion. He could broad-jump 24 feet. He did the hurdles in 13.4. I've seen him in plays on a basketball court when he not only blocks a shot but controls the ball and feeds it to his forwards, and then he's up at the other end of the court trailing the fast break and if there's a rebound there he is, ready for it. He just might be the fastest man on the Celtics."

Clyde Drexler #4
"Clyde claimed that he barely lost to Carl Lewis in a track race," longtime NBA player and coach Jerry Sichting said. "He said that he had his Converse [basketball] shoes on ... Carl Lewis was working out, and Clyde gave him a run for his money. And he probably was dribbling as he ran too, right?" That and an infamous college dunk when he jumped over Memphis State's Andre Turner earns Drexler this spot ... where, unfortunately, he is in the shadow again of a longtime rival.

Wilt Chamberlain #1
"Magic Johnson used to run the games," Brown told upon Chamberlain's death in 1999. "And he called a couple of chintzy fouls and a goaltending on Wilt. So Wilt said 'There will be no more layups in this gym' and he blocked every shot after that. That's the truth, I saw it. He didn't let one [of Johnson's] shots get to the rim."
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