The Greatest NBA Blocked Shot Artists Ever: Minute By Minute
Before you read this story it is important to realize that blocked shot stats were not kept before 1974 and therefore the two greatest shot-blockers are not on the list: Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. You can throw in Nate Thurmond too, not to mention Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, whose first four (and most dominant) seasons were played before the stat was kept, which really sucks.
I bet Russell averaged 5 or more a game and Wilt too, but we will never know.
In order for a player to make this list of the 15 greatest shot-blockers in NBA history they had to at least average 1.8 blocks per game for their career and have a blocked shots per minute average of over .070 for their entire career.
These are the greatest shot-blockers of the modern era MINUTE BY MINUTE, which is the most accurate way to calculate it.
15. Benoit Benjamin, .0721 Blocks Per Minute Career
Big Benoit seemed like a flop of a player, although he was a major part of a contending team: the Blazers of the early 1990's. Apparently his worth was on the defensive end. He was funny to watch play, because he was 7'0" and 300 pounds easy.
14. Samuel Dalembert, .074 Blocks Per Minute Career
Dalembert has been a steady yet rather quiet player over his career. As one of three current NBA players on the list he has shown an adept ability to get a block and keep his team in possession. Underrated player who has yet to play for a contender.
13. Bill Walton, .078 Blocks Per Minute Career
Big Bill played for various title teams, and when he was young he led the Blazers to the title because of his defense. When he was older he helped the Celtics win it all as a backup defensive whiz. What I liked about his game on the court was that I could not hear him talk!
12. Marcus Camby, .083 Blocks Per Minute Career
Camby has been an awesome shot-blocker ever since he came in to the NBA. His long wingspan and rather limited offensive game have helped him develop into a player sought after by many teams for his defensive prowess. He has literally swatted thousands of shots in his long NBA career.
11. David Robinson, .086 Blocks Per Minute Career
The Admiral is an NBA champion because he could score from about anywhere, he was a great teammate, a civic minded individual off the court and mostly because he could play defense. He could, and did, throw everyone's shot back. He never bragged or gloated after a block, he just professionally threw your shit.
10. Hakeem Olajuwon, .087 Blocks Per Minute Career
The Dream is the NBA's all-time leader in blocked shots—at least officially. I truly do think Olajuwon was better than both Wilt and Russell, but I do not think he blocked more shots than they did. He was only 6'10" in reality, but he was listed at 7'0" and I do believe that if he played when they did he would be better. The dream is the greatest man. He even blocked the GOAT (pictured).
9. Dikembe Mutombo, .089 Blocks Per Minute Career
Deke threw everyone's shit. Anyone who went up against Mt. Mutombo knows this. Yeah, he got dunked on a lot, but that is the price any elite shot-blocker has to pay. Remember the finger wag? Of course you do.
8. Alonzo Mourning, .091 Blocks Per Minute Career
Mourning, at only 6'9", turned out to be a defensive mastermind. His defensive tenacity was absolutely critical in the 2006 Miami title win. He blocked shot after shot in the most perfect moments to help the Heat win it all. He had done this his entire career, and he also scored a lot.
7. Elmore Smith, .091 Blocks Per Minute Career
He was listed at 7'0" and he used every inch of his height from 1971 to 1979. In his first two seasons blocks were not tallied, but proof that he is one of the greatest shot-blockers ever—Smith still holds the NBA all-time record for blocks in one game with 17!!!! Yes, you read that correctly. HE HAD 17 BLOCKS IN A SINGLE GAME!!! Any questions?
6. Theo Ratliff, .096 Blocks Per Minute Career
Theo has always been a one-dimensional player in the best way and that is why he has lasted so long. All he cares about is defense and he is so good at it, especially blocking shots.
5. Tree Rollins, .106 Blocks Per Minute Career
He is most famous for getting dunked on by Jordan, but aside from that, he is the first of the truly elite shot-blockers of all-time. He blocked over .100 blocks per minute, which is amazing. Rollins never really excelled in the league except as a shot-blocker.
4. Shawn Bradley, .109 Blocks Per Minute Career
Bradley has been dunked on by many players, and it was the highlight of their career. Can you say McGrady? Then again, the 7'6" Bradley blocked his shot so many times that it probably pissed him off. When this guy was patrolling the lane, you would get your shot blocked. Dude, he's 7'6"!!!
3. Mark Eaton, .122 Blocks Per Minute Career
At 7'4" 285 pounds he was truly an intimidating inside force. He had height and girth and he blocked shots like crazy. I used to watch Eaton block everyone's shit and he is one of my all-time favorite players.
2. George Johnson, .123 Blocks Per Minute Career
George Johnson played for the Spurs and many other teams in his 13-year career. At 6'11" he was a great shot-blocker, actually an amazing shot-blocker. He led the NBA in blocked shots three times and he threw 10 blocks in a game six different times in his career. He won an NBA title as a backup defensive whiz for the 1975 Warriors.
1. Manute Bol, .179 Blocks Per Minute Career
Wow, this guy is by far the most prolific shot blocker of all-time. At his career blocked shots per minute rate, if he played 48 minutes per game he would average 8.6 blocks per game!!!
He was 7'6" or 7'7" and skinny as a rail, but he had a knack for finding ways to block the ball. Aside from his three point shooting exploits he was an awesome shot-blocker. I watched him in many games, and I could not keep my eyes off this freak of nature. RIP Manute.