NBA players come in all sizes, colors, and personalities. Although every great player has a unique set of skills that identify them, there is a very important characteristic that is often overlooked. And that is intensity.
There is a very clear correlation between intensity and success in the NBA, and this list will surely show that.
Here are the top 10 most intense NBA players among all current active players.
Don't forget to voice your opinion below and let the world know which player got snubbed and which player you think does not deserve to be among this group!
While not a guy that would get into another player's face, play suffocating defense, or scream his lungs out after a heart-pounding play, Steve Nash cracks the list for his willingness to get back up from every fall and play through blood, literally.
Steve Nash, even in his late 30s, plays like a young guard and gets plenty of contact in the lane. Numerous times it is his intensity and ability to handle the ball through traffic that has won games for Phoenix and back in the day, Dallas.
Steve Nash also has the ability to fix his broken nose on the fly without any sign of pain. If the picture on the left did not sell you on this pick, then maybe nothing will.
By the title, you would expect Ron Artest to rank among the top of this list. The only thing that keeps Ron Ron from the upper echelon of this list is that his intensity is often confused with his lack of self-control. While he looks as intense as they come, his intensity tends to spike right when he is making no sense on the court.
While with the Lakers this past season, he showed he can be domesticated to an extent. His intensity was not as vivid as it once was, which only proves the statement above.
Regardless, Ron Artest's dedication to defense and ability to get into another player’s face both physically and mentally guarantees him a spot this list and any similar list, for that matter.
This might come as a surprise to many, but anyone that has seen Kirk Hinrich play regularly would agree. He is an underrated player both defensively and offensively.
Hinrich is not afraid of barking at any opposing player and often gets involved in altercations.
These altercations, unlike many others from other players, are almost all the time completely legitimate and in his favor. Unlike other players as well, he is able to keep himself under control and continue providing intense play throughout the game.
Hinrich’s self-control and high intensity of both sides of the court earns him a spot on this list.
Fans all over the world have had the pleasure of watching Dwyane Wade perform at a high level in college, in the NBA, and internationally. While he has learned a few tricks along the way, if there is one thing he always carries with him is intensity.
Wade was quickly known for being the unbreakable guy on the court that would get up after every fall, regardless of how ugly it may have looked.
Wade’s style of play often demands high intensity so his offensive attack is able to put defenses on their heels. More times than not, he is successful doing so.
It was Wade’s intense level of play the only reason why the 2006 Miami Heat team was able to win the NBA championship. That alone puts him on this list.
Another player not scared of any physical contact whatsoever. Often, Manu Ginobili finds himself on the floor of the basketball court after a hard hit. At times that is the only thing that seems to stop the man. The bad news for the culprit is that often Ginobili gets right back up and to the line to finish the three-point play.
Although not known for his defense, Ginobili is actually a very pesky defender that forces his share of turnovers by just providing a high level of intensity as a on-ball and off-ball defender.
Ginobili’s ability to produce at an incredible level, even through injuries, makes him one of the most intense players in the NBA.
Chris Paul has been called many things throughout his career. Names range from the fastest point guard in the league, to the best point guard in the list, to one of the best all-time point guards in league history; All of this after only a handful of seasons in the NBA.
Just to throw another name to the list, Paul is also the most intense point guard in the list. Like other players in this list, Paul has made a name for sticking up for teammates and getting face-to-face with any opponent regardless of size and strength.
Paul's heart and passion for the game shows night in and night out. As a man that gets equally electrified for a score, an assist, a steal, a block, or just a mere well-placed swing pass, Paul shows fans on a nightly basis why he is the most intense point guard in the league.
King James is not a very liked man in places other than South Beach at the moment. Even though his decision to play in Miami will forever be one that affects his image as a basketball player, it should not be reason to doubt James as a performer on the court.
LeBron James shows high levels of intensity is every way any basketball fan can ask for. He does it with an extremely impressive set of offensive tricks, as well as with hustle plays on the defensive end.
If there were a statistical category for most fastbreak lay-ups blocked, James would surely beat any other contestant by a big margin.
Although some readers might not agree with James placement and might use the Cavaliers-Boston 2010 playoff series as proof, LeBron James will still be one of the most intense players in the NBA today.
Rasheed Wallace has led the league in technical fouls several times during his career. He has also started several fights throughout his years in the NBA and was a big part of why the Portland team had the infamous nickname Jail Blazers. But that is not why he makes this list.
Wallace is among the best in the league at following up an impressive defensive stop with an incredible offensive attack. Countless times, a turnover forced by Wallace has led to a score by Wallace himself.
His ability to intimidate players with really only the look in his face can only begin to explain why Wallace’s intensity level ranks him at the top three on this list.
There is no argument about this pick. Kevin Garnett, since he joined the league out of high school, has been one of the fiercest competitors the league has ever seen. His combination of intimidation on both the defensive and offensive end and his basketball IQ make for a lethal animal on the NBA court.
There are not many players in the league that can say they have not felt Garnett’s presence on the court even from the sidelines.
When Garnett is excited, he lets everyone know. Garnett, besides his revolutionary skill set, also possesses one of the loudest and scariest “roars” in the NBA. This makes for plenty of flashy highlights and makes him second on this list only to…
Kobe Bryant will go down in league history as one of the best shooting guards to have ever played the game. He will be remembered for his ability to score on anyone and against anything. He will also be remembered for his dedication to defense despite being the No. 1 option defensively.
But if there is something that he will be remembered for, is for being the fiercest competitor on the floor at all times. Nobody in a basketball arena wants to win more than Kobe Bryant.
Down 30 or up 30 points, Kobe Bryant will play at the highest level and with his intensity maxed out.
Any player knows this. They also know that if Kobe’s got the protruding jaw game face, it is all over.