NBA Greats on Defense: Mason, Jordan and the Defenders of a Bygone Tough Era

Ike MontalboCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2010

NBA Greats on Defense: Mason, Jordan and the Defenders of a Bygone Tough Era

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    13 May 1998: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls if covered by Anthony Mason of the Charlotte Hornets at the United Center in Chicago, Illinios. The Bulls defeated the Hornets 93-84. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel  /Allsport
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    While commenting on a story about the top 25 leapers in today's NBA, I was urged to watch a Derrick Rose video of his top 10 dunks. The little guy has some awesome hops. As I watched the video, though, I realized, as I watched play after play, just how bad NBA defenses are in 2010-11. 

    Wow, it is so sad how soft the NBA has been made to become. Just one generation ago NBA defenses were really tough, due in part to many, many playaers who would put everything on the line to play hard defense.

    The scorers had to be more efficient back then, and they were. They would be clobbered if they were pure gunslingers or showoffs. 

    Here are some defenders of the past generation who put the NBA to shame now. It is kind of embarrassing now, that the NBA had to change the rules so bad shooters like Kobe and Iverson and Durant could be top scorers. 

    I can't stand the NBA now. Truly I cannot. But I do love exposing how crappy it is now. Here, I present to you a few of the tough defenders of a bygone NBA era. 

Bill Laimbeer

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    Damn, I miss the days when Laimbeer would get in fights almost every night as he pissed offensive players off. This type of player is no longer allowed in the NBA. 

    Laimbeer won two titles by leading by example for his smaller teammates on the Detroit Bad Boys title teams of 1989 and 1990. Imagine the pussy ass 2010 Lakers going up against this team. They would be destroyed. 

    Laimbeer was a one of a kind player who would shoot the three, shoot 80% from the line and make any and everyone who came into the lane pay for their brashness. 

    Laimbeer used to throw MJ on the floor and they beat the Bulls because of it. I wish someone would do that to today's primadonna flopper babies. 

    Damn, I miss 6'11" Laimbeer. In the pic-Laimbeer sticks a huge elbow into Bird's neck. 

Mr. Mean Larry Smith

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    This undersized C/PF was named Mr. Mean for a reason. He was menacingly scary looking, he was strong and he could rebound with the best of them. Smith helped Houston with hardcore defense that required toughness and not letting a scorer get easy shots. 

    Smith was like Barkley but he actually played defense. He could not score like Barkley though, but he would have thrown Barkley on the floor. I think he actually did that a few times. 

Rick Mahorn

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    Mahorn didn't flop or make excuses for anything. He liked hitting people and he actually liked getting hit. Defense like his id outlawed now. The NBA is such BS pussy shit now.

    When Mahorn left the Badboys I saw him play against the Pistons and in one play, Isiah Thomas, Rodman and Laimbeer hit him all over the place with seriousness. Mahorn loved it and laughed, even though he got hurt.

    Man I miss those days. 

Charles Oakley

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    The Oak man was not scared of anyone including Shaq, Barkley or Jordan. 

    The Oak man would throw his whole 6'9" 250 pound muscular body on you to stop you from scoring. He did it in every game. No one liked his play, but it made the NBA a tough place to play, not like now, with all the flopping and crying. Get a backbone NBA!

Anthony Mason

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    Mase was just hardcore man. He was so scary looking that it usually took a glare to scare off a defender, but if the defender came in, Mason would hit them for sure, on purpose and without a doubt.

    He thought he was being slick but everyone knew what Mason was doing, including the refs but they didn't say anything, which is how the NBA should be. Now, everyone is free to shoot, shoot and shoot. Back then, players had to work for a living. 

    Going through Mason was always hard work. 

Greg Anthony

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    Here's one for the little guys. Overall Anthony sucked but he was an OK pg. His main strength was his attitude on defense. He was small but he would fight anyone and annoy the hell out of people like Jordan and Drexler. 

    If he was on the bench and fucked with his team he would come onto the court and attack you. 

    Anthony did not make excuses for his size. He would foul anyone who thought they would have an easy play, and he would foul them hard. When other players retaliated he had Ewing, Oakley and Mason as backup. That is gangsta right there. 

Xavier McDaniel

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    Another scary looking dude who punked everyone from Pippen to Bird. X-Man could just stare at a guy to scare him into submission but he played hard defense and would hit anyone hard to send a message. He talked shit to MJ also, but that didn't work out for X-Man. 

    Everyone was always on the watch out to not make X-Man mad because he was just a tough guy. Plain and Simple. 

    The NBA could not handle an X-Man today. In the pic he chokes the shit out of a Laker, I wish someone would do that to the current Lakers. 

Derrick Coleman

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    At 6'10" 260 pounds DC was an awesome scorer and a hard defender. Coleman was not afraid to mix it up with bigger players like a young Shaq and he hit many people over the years, people who were consequently afraid to drive it in.

    No one is like that in today's NBA. 

Alonzo Mourning

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    Alonzo was not afraid to flaunt his masculinity as he threw everyone's shit and told them about it. Mourning could flat out play defense and is you ran into him, you would know why he was so tough. Even in 2006, the old Mourning came in for Shaq in the Finals and kicked everyone's ass on the way to a title in a flop league. 

Isiah Thomas

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    The little man had a complex. Isiah was as tough as a plyer could get, especially for his size, which is why he was the true leader of the Badboys. 

    He did not care about Jordan or Pippen or anyone. He would hit anyone and defended like his life was being threated, especially in the playoffs. 

    I hate Isiah, but I loved his game man. 

Scottie Pippen

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    Not a dirty defender but an amazing defender, so he is on the list. He made it through a truly tough league and stood out as one of the best defenders. In 1991 the Bulls put Pippen on Magic in the Finals, and Magic was stifled and the smaller Jordan stopped everyone else. 

Dennis Rodman

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    To hell with Ron Artest. You call that great defense? Please. The NBA will never see a defender like him again because it caters to big babies who can't score if hard defense is actually played. 

    I truly resent the NBA for changing the rules to the crap they have going on now. Did Jordan ever get help to score? No, but he still is the highest scoring player ever. 

    Rodman is the last of a generation of defensive masterminds who could defend you with skill and scare tactics, just like on the street.

    The toughest games I have ever played were in the hood, where scary people threw your shit and wouldn't let you pull your bullshit offense. You had to earn the respect from the tough defenders. 

    Rodman: A living defensive legend. 

Hakeem Olajuwon

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    If you thought you were slick this gentleman would throw your shit in every way. Olajuwon was not mean or dirty but he was the finest defender in NBA history. 

    No little tricks would work on Olajuwon and he would tear a new one in today's league even though the rules were changed to give us this bullshit we have today. Sad.

Rasheed/Ben Wallace

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    In 2004 the Lakers for the last time, saw some sick defense and they were clobbered. Ben and Rasheed Wallace schooled the crap out of the crybaby scorers and got an easy title. In the next few years the rules were changed to cater to a dying offensive league where no one went to college or could shoot over 45%. Sad.

    Wallace and Wallace are too old now for you to realize what they once did. 

Michael Jordan

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    Not a dirty defender because he just had way too much skill on offense and defense to be such a player. Most of the guys on this list were defensive specialists but this guy became the greatest player of all time not only because he scored more per game than anyone ever, he played the smoothest and most beautiful defense in the history of the league.

    Jordan made defending look good and easy, but it isn't easy as witnessed by today's NBA players. They hate playing defense now, but MJ took absolute pleasure in showing that he could stop anyone, and he did.

    MJ never lost in the Finals and defense wins championships right.

    The only player to ever win defensive player of the year and lead the Nba in scoring in the same season. Also MJ is the only guard to ever record over 200 steals and 100 blocks in the same season, and he did it twice.  

    Man I miss when the NBA allowed defense to stop panzee scorers who shot 45%. In 1988 they would have shot 35% and been out of the league quickly.