The NBA is a league where some of the most athletic freaks in the world play. Guys that soar through the sky like LeBron James or Gerald Green remind us why people marvel at the pure athleticism of the NBA. However, there’s another side of the NBA that’s not often acknowledged or recognized. Guys like Robert Traylor, Oliver Miller, and an old Shaquille O’Neal bring about a different side of the NBA that is often forgotten.
These are the guys who are amazingly overweight but still play at the highest level. These are the guys that offer the opposite characteristics of the freak athletes but still have enough skill and basketball IQ to stay in the league. To be overweight and in the league means that you’re offensive game is strong enough that you can push other players around, and your defensive rotations are among the best. If all else fails, it also includes players who sign big contracts and then let themselves go.
As a society, we often view professional athletes as individuals who are the peak of athletic ability. Often we see the best players as the most athletic players at the same time. Think of guys like Kobe in his prime, LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Tracy McGrady. All athletic monsters who, in one way or another, dominated the league when their presence. How often do we hear about guys like Raymond Felton or Glen Davis dominating the league? Well this is a shout out to those players in the league that aren't the prototypical super athlete in sports, but the guys who use their ball IQ and hustle to counteract that extra Big Mac.
10 Jared Dudley, Height: 6’7, Weight: 225 lbs.
Jared Dudley signed with the Clippers over the offseason with the expectation of being the wing player and spot up in the corner and wait for Chris Paul or Blake Griffin to feed him the ball for the 3. And then run back and play defense on the best perimeter player on the other team.
9 Deron Williams, Height: 6’3, Weight: 209 lbs.
It hurts to put a point guard who used to rival Chris Paul on this list. Deron came out of the University of Illinois in 2005 with Luther Head and Dee Brown, a team that ran basically a three point guard lineup and did damage in the tournament. Williams came into the league with a blast and had one of the best crossovers in the league.
8 Kyle Lowry, Height: 6’0, Weight: 205 lbs.
Lowry is one of the best hustling point guards in the league, always diving for loose balls and confronting teammates for not putting their body on the line (ask Steve Novak). Despite his hustle, it also looks like Lowry has never ran a suicide in his life.
7 Zach Randolph, Height: 6’9, Weight: 260 lbs.
Z-Bo literally looks like a giant cuddly teddy bear. This makes his presence on the Grizzlies even more appropriate, as Z-Bo could probably be the mascot just as easily. Despite his weight though, Randolph has been one of the best power forwards in the league since arriving in Memphis in 2010.
6 Boris Diaw, Height: 6’8, Weight: 250 lbs.
Boris Diaw should have been on the GMs voting list for players who make the most of limited natural ability. Constantly overlooked for his presence on the floor, Diaw is seen setting up teammates, grabbing rebounds, and defending LeBron extremely well in the 2013 Finals.
5 Anthony Bennett, Height: 6’8, Weight: 259 lbs.
Wow, this is the #1 draft pick from the 2013 draft. Bennett, from Toronto, Canada, was picked first to fill a small forward void that the Cavaliers have had since The Decision
4 Jared Sullinger, Height: 6’9, Weight: 260 lbs.
The second Jared on our list, this young Celtic player has shown lots of potential for the city of Boston to get behind. Sullinger plays the power forward position, and can definitely bump with the best of them as his caboose allows him to box players behind him with worry.
3 Chuck Hayes, Height: 6’6, Weight: 250 lbs.
Hayes is the definition of a savvy veteran that every team wants on the floor and in the locker room. After ten years in the league, Hayes has only played for three teams but has a reputation of a locker room guy across the NBA. Although known more for the hitch in his free throw (he invented the hitch), Hayes brings toughness and energy to this young Raptors team.
2 Raymond Felton, Height: 6’1, Weight: 205 lbs.
Felton was the starting point guard for UNC in the 2005 tournament where the school went to capture the NCAA Championship. Going 5th overall in the 2005 draft, Felton went to a Bobcats team that didn't utilize his fullest abilities. After going to New York and playing under Mike D’Antoni, Felton was able to run a quick offence ensuring that his teammates got involved.
1 Glen Davis, Height: 6’9, Weight: 289 lbs.
This guy’s nickname is Big Baby. It’s partially because he’s an emotional player, but primarily because of his massive figure. When Davis played for the Magic, the dark colors of the uniform hid how big he actually is. Now in the Clippers white and red, opponents are able to see Davis’ true figure in time for them to get out of the away.
Davis’ weight is known all across the league and he is both embraced and ridiculed for it. The ridicule has gone as far as a fan in New York holding out his box of food and pointing at it to distract Big Baby from hitting his free throw. There’s no remedy for Big Baby. If he grows up to not be Big Baby, who knows what he could become.
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