Most impressive athlete the League has ever seen? To me its between Shaq and LeBron.
wilt, lebron the rest isn't close
Shaq isnt close?
no lebron is as athletic as jordan and as strong as ben wallace or karl malone. wilt was a world class athlete in a lot of sports.
I'll probably get negged, but I'm going to go with someone who isn't a major star, and that player is Nate Robinson. Came into the league at 5'9, 181 pounds. 43.5 inch vertical, bench press 185, 13 times. The 3rd fastest NBA 3/4 sprint ever recorded. I mean he's always been in great shape. Now on the court he isn't dominant like Lebron and Shaq, I mean he's 5'9 with shoes on for Christ's sake, but he sure is impressive.
Shaq was scary too. Men Shaq's size that agile and quick don't exist plain and simple. I think its Lebron though.
Wilt was an athletic specimen. He was 7'1 who could bench 550 pounds and touch the top of the backboard. He was also a collegiate shotput thrower, 100 meter runner, and long jumper. Wilt's former coach Alex Hannum said he was the fastest player on his team by far and was probably the fastest player in the league.
and a sprinter and a volleyball player and could box
Could high jump 6'6" when they used to scissor kick. That would have won a medal in the Olympics back then. To put that into perspective, I could high jump 6'5" in high school, using the flosbury, and I could only scissor about 5'6". If Chamberlain was using the modern technique, I bet he'd be about a 7'2"-7'5" jumper.
My embed failed sorry here's the link (worth it, sorry for the inconvenience):
the topic isn't about best longevity.
The above link is Wilt Chamberlain at age 36 blocking a shot near the top of the back board, now think of him at age 26. This is easily the most impressive display of athleticism on a basketball court I have ever seen. Age 36 ... my god
That's a nice block and all but it don't solve the question asked.
The question the question asked was "most impressive athlete" and I presented a video of a 315 pound man at age 36 blocking a shot at the top (well near) the backboard...
Lebron is the best athlete the NBA has ever witnessed. I would also give Shawn Kemp some honorable mention for how athletic he was at 6'10 +245lbs, his body control at his size was rare to go along with his leaping ability.
Shawn Kemp was a specimen(and one of my favorite all time players) but he wasn't a rare once in a lifetime athlete. Blake Griffin and STAT were similar builds and did the same things he could do athletically.
lebron hands down, but steve francis, daryl dawkins, vince carter could al be considered
If you can consider Steve Francis you have to consider Derric Rose. YouTube his 3 dunks against the Heat in the playoffs in 2011. The speed, grace, explosion, power, quickness, etc. it is all there.
Is it foolish to say Andre Drummond? I would throw in names like ummmm Michael Jordan?
To me, there are different aspects to defining a "great athlete". Strength, speed, leaping ability, quickness, explosiveness, range of motion, etc. If we were to define a "great" athlete by any ONE or TWO of those, then we could consider guys who wouldn't necessarily pass muster. For example, Karl Malone must be considered on strength alone, but never would be considered the most explosive or fast player. James White and Gerald Green are two of the greatest leapers the league has ever seen, but they too wouldn't pass muster if all elements are considered. That is why a guy like Lebron is almost impossible to surpass in answering a question like this. Never before have we seen a guy 6'8", built like a defensive end, as fast as most point guards, as explosive as all get out, quick, strong, blah blah. That said, the young guys on this board never saw early Shaq. He came into the League at 7'1" (official pre-draft measurements) 305 and had a 36" max vertical. He was fast, strong and explosive with agility unmatched at his size. I would have to vote for Lebron right now, but I'm sure in 20 years someone will come along and make us ask... better athlete than Lebron?
You lost all credibility when you mentioned danny green as one of the "greatest leapers the league has ever seen. He registered a 29" standing vertical and a 33 inch max vertical in the draft combine. Please tell me this is an error..
@ChrisP sorry I had read Danny not Gerald. I was so confused I had to read it again, makes sense now haha
LeBron or wilt
my father always mentions that "Lebron is your generations Dr. J". He swears that Dr. J in High school, college and his early ABA days was the physical and athletic equivalent of Lebron. Haven't seen anyone mention him, so I'll throw his name out there. He was tall, strong, explosive, had huge hands, and was as quick end to end as anyone during his prime...
I am amazed that no one has mentioned Vince Carter. Subtract durability, and you have one of the greatest athletes ever to play in the NBA. Lightning quick first step, awesome second jump ability, the strength to post up almost everyone at his size, and terror end to end. And no need to speak of his elite body control and explosion.
Edit: sorry BBallJunkie, didnt see your mention.
I think Vince's lack of effort invites him to be neglected in any debate about "greatest" or "most impressive" outside of dunking, not that it makes it right to leave him out of certain discussions.
What about David Thompson? He was known as "Skywalker," and could do things on the basketball court that most had never even considered attempting. His performance in the 1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest is what most remember about Thompson, but he had made his name as a high-flyer long before he ever reached the pros. Thompson served as something of a role model to a young Michael Jordan (who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina). Jordan patterned his game after the former N.C. State star, and when his Airness was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, he asked Thompson to give his induction speech.
To me the three best athletes are Nate Robinson for guards, Lebron for wing players, and wilt for big men. You kind of have to break it down a little because it is hard to compare athleticism in wilt to nate robinson.
Yep, for me Vince Carter remains the most impressive athlete I've ever seen on a basketball court. His coordination is something Lebron can only dream of, he has such amazing body control and obviously his strength and explosiveness are through the roof. Lebron is a power athlete for sure, but I don't think his body control or first step are anything special, and I've never really seen him pull off a great change of direction move, he practically always just lowers his head and powers to the basket, knowing that without hand-checking and the more stringent definition of a flagrant foul that he's safe.
This guy deserves a mention.....
I think people get confused with the word athlete. I didn't mean run and jump who gets the highest type athlete ex Vince, I meant the most impressive Body, Man, the league has ever seen, which I still think is between Shaq and LeBron, and Wilt I suppose. Obviously don't have to make a case for Bron or Wilt since everybody already did, but i cant believe Shaq didn't get more love. 7 footer, 300+, prolly more like 350 with the Lakers, who was unguardable, by whole teams not just one on one. Hands down the most powerful man to ever step on the court, with great body control and footwork, and if you've never seen him on the magic you really need to get on that.
For the old school guys its gotta be Wilt and Connie Hawkins, a bunch of people have already touched on Wilt's athletic feats but Connie Hawkins was a athletic monster. He was a silky smooth athlete that reminds me a lot of Tmac however the highlights you can see of him are all after he had knee surgery when he lost a lot of his athleticism, however in his heyday he was premier athelete.
In more modern times Its gotta be either Bron or MJ, with me leaning more towards MJ because hes the more complete athletic package in my mind. MJ had it all: great size, was incredibly strong, amazing agility, amazing first step, incredible body control on the ground and in the air, great handspeed, incredible reaction time, quick and fast, great lateral movement, ambidexterious athletically (he was just as athletic moving right as he was moving left, which is highly underrated), incredible vertical, plus he made those plays in games that only MJ could do and no matter how many times players have tried to replicate them you rarely see it done anywhere close to how he made it look. Plus he made it look just to damn easy, he was truely on a different level athletically.