Welcome back to the "Greatest Ever" series as we continue with the ranks of the finest stoppers on the perimeter of all times
It's not easy.Only the defensive geniuses can use their mix of excellent footwork,long arms,high basketball IQ and reaction to beat you on the perimeter where finding tough stoppers can be so valuable to your team duo to the large numbers of talented scorers on the wing
But these guys also get overlooked,big time.For their incredible demonstration of skills,they rarely get any consideration in the discussion of the top defensive player of the year award around the NBA as of the past 20 years.
Through the history of the game,there have been many great outside "stop" machines but only the best make the list!
Here are the 10 greatest perimeter defenders in the NBA of All Time!
For almost a full decade,Shane Battier made a reputation as one of the game's top perimeter stoppers of all times
Yes,he's that type of a player who contributes on the court in many which sometimes statistics can't show his contribution.His discipline,hustle and skills made him an excellent defensive stud who does fantastic job on the outside scores
He's assigned usually to guard the best scorer from the opponents team and he's known for studying the game of his opponents,which gives him certain advantage to force really tough shots,turnovers and simply to glue to who ever he's guarding
His defense has been awarded with 2x All-Second Defensive selections but for almost a full season and he is No.1 in overall defense,in the current NBA.Period.This isn't the last you will be seeing of Battier in my
The 6'3 quick,strong Alvin Robertson once was one of the most intimating presence on the perimeter to play in the NBA.
He made a strong reputation for himself as a multi-dimensional player who once tailed a quadruple but was most known for his ability to get steals on his man,at the lane and still say in front of his opponent who he guarded.
He made stealing an art form,but unlike some,he could stay on his man while looking with his quick hands to pick pockets which was a major factor for earning the award which goes to the defender that contributed most with his "d".
Robertson has earned 6x All Defensive Selections including 2x All-First and the other 4x are All-Second Defensive Teams.He's the NBA's All Time leader in steals per game for career (2.7),9th overall in total and 1st in steal percent!
The Pistons legend who was the most important figure in 1 of the 2 championships that his team won,the ultimate team mate and overall very successful player,Joe Dumars wasn't called "Joe D" for nothing.
That "D" was given to him for his defense and Dumars is for sure,one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the NBA!He also belonged in the group of stoppers on the perimeter which was one of the biggest keys to the strength of Detroit
He had excellent footwork,technique which combined so nicely with his intensiveness and toughness that he brought on that end of the court,in his pro career.He was so great out there,that he would make his man frustrated with taking hard shots from the 3 point line.
The great offensive machine,the legend of the world basketball,Michael Jordan acknowledged the good Joe as the toughest defender he ever played against.That's for respect!He couldn't win a Defensive Player Of The Year award but added total of 5x All Defensive Selections,including 4x All-First!
One of the dozen legendary players from the "Showtime" Lakers of the 80's,Michael Cooper belonged in the tier of the finest defenders ever
Yes,the 6'5 athletic,quick and skilled Cooper was known for his outstanding defensive performances on top shooting threats from the space around the three point line.His hustle was a hidden advantage to the very overlooked Coop...
His consistency was one of the couple of things that made good and he won the Defensive Player Of The Year award in 1987 while adding a total of 8x All-NBA Defensive Teams,including 5x All-First selections and 3x All-Second!
So,when you think of defensive specialist in the Showtime Lakers,think of Michael Cooper...
The ultimate role player of the 80's,Bobby Jones was one of the most desired defenders to put a jersey in the NBA History!
His only competition from the 80's was Kevin McHale who later became a starter but what made him really good contributor was his tenacious and hard nose play on the defensive end where he was a guy who earned big respect
His size (6'10),combined with hustle,will and toughness were one of the biggest attributes for the strength of Jones' defending all over the court and on the perimeter who could keep up and get what he wants against his opponent
He won a career total of 10x All-Defensive Selections,including 9x All First and 1x All Second Defensive Teams.He played few seasons in the ABA,but spent the rest of his career in the NBA where not only he's remembered for this credit for being a defensive wall,but for being an awesome 6th Man!
In many ways,Hall Of Fame guard Dennis Johnson belongs in the debate of the game's most outstanding perimeter defenders of all times!
He had variety of ways to deny his opponent at the perimeter and overall,but let's stay on topic.His tough physique like strong body,athleticism mixed with pure skills made Johnson one of the finest defensive guards ever
The 6'4 intimating defensive stud once was a force that put fear to everyone he could guard on the court and he gets most credit for stopping Earvin "Magic" Johnson in the 1984 NBA Finals which was the biggest key for his second title
He's just a prove of how many fantastic defenders do the Boston Celtics had in the past,have now and will always have.Definitely!He earned 5x All NBA Defensive Teams,including 3x All-First and 2nd All-Second selections!
Although he's known much more for his ability to score the easy 2 points in dozens of ways like drive to the rim and so on,Michael Jordan was also one of the top perimeter defenders in the history of the game
When,he was drafted as the #3 pick out of college,his GM thought that he got a great defensive player who could play either guard/forward and score some points.He got more,actually,he got a player that turned the Bulls and become symbol of basketball
Jordan was aggressive,tough,competitive defender who managed to translate his athleticism and speed on the other end of the court,to be a danger out there as well as he broke game plans and the movement on the ball with easy
Proof for that are the many achievements for steals but he wasn't all about that.MJ forced his opponents to take questionable shots,wrong moves and he also not only tear up in offense,but also kept top scorers to bad performances
He won a Defensive Player Of The Year award in 1988,as he managed to pick up 3 steals titles,one of the rare guards to win that award,got 9x straight All NBA Defensive First Team selections and his steals total is ranked #1,his steal average of 2.3 career wise is ranked #3
He's also part of the best defenders ever...
Arguable the best defensive guard of all times,the Bucks legend who was the symbol of the league in the 80's,Sidney Moncrief was one of the greatest defensive players ever
He was also known for his special perimeter defense which he put on display which isn't for a surprise for a guy who marked the 80's with his dominate stand out on defense and incredible all around game for a 6'4 guard
He was strong,athletic,fast and skilled defender who could stay always in front of you and force you on bad moves out there because he could react well when his man was shooting and for that,his skills were recognized and awarded
Yes,he's the only guard ever to win 2x Defensive Player Of The Year awards,one of the 2 shooting guards to win this award in the first place and so on.He also added a total of 5x All-First Defensive Teams in his career
He's truly one of the top 10 defenders to step on a NBA hardwood,period!
When you are making a list of the best defensive players through the history of the league and any similar debates,Bulls' notable legend Scottie Pippen is right there
He had many attributes that helped him in becoming a defender for respect out there,such as things like footwork,length,sense and skills.His work on the perimeter on high scoring guards with he consistently keep up and torched them out there,was fantastic
Pippen usually guarded the opponent's top scorer against he did his job in style and his size (6'7) aloud him to guard players on the perimeter that played from different positions from Point Guards-Small Forwards etc
The biggest shame for Scottie was not receiving an award to recognize his defensive greatness but he did got 8x All-First Defensive Teams,2x All-Second Defensive Teams which were in a span of 10 years!
To this day he's still the all time leader in total steals in the playoffs and holds record for most steals total and per game for any forwards ever.He's truly one of the finest defenders ever
Former Seattle Super Sonic players,a legend remembered for his defensive performances,Garry Payton was the best perimeter player in the history of the NBA!
The 6'4 Payton strengths were toughness,courage,strong footwork combined with rarely seen skills for a point guard to dominate on the other end of the court.He also played well on the lanes,as he did managed to lead twice in steals per game
He mastered the art form of steals on his man while not give him clear shot.He was so outstanding that he put the playoffs' top scoring machine,Michael Jordan to just 27 points per game while holding him in 5 games under 30 points,once on 22 and worst shooting percent
The career feat came in 1996 when he won the Defensive Player Of The Year,which adds nicely to record 9x straight All-First Defensive selections and his total of steals 2445 is ranked #3 on the all time lists.Can you think of Payton as a Top 10 defender ever?
Who says guards can't defend...