The Best Defensive Players in NBA History

The Contenders: Page 2XW

21Tony AllenAnthony "Tony" Allen is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association.

Come on men, he is the best defensive player in the league today

Kobe said he was the best defender he ever played against, not Lebron, not Leonard, not Artest, but Tony Allen.

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22Kawhi LeonardKawhi Anthony Leonard is an American professional basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association.

YOU GONNA SAY HE AIN'T #1 HE LOCKED UP Lebron in the finals and took finals MVP and his huge hands and long wingspan makes him such a great defender. Also the stats prove it lead the league in steals in the 2015 NBA seasonand can play monster defense both off and on the ball!

Best Defensive Player in this era! Hands Down!

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23Maurice Lucas
24Steve NashStephen John Nash, is a Canadian retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association.

Best Ole defender as he would just let people go right past him all the time

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25Nate Thurmond

Here lies the greatest defensive player of all-time. Ask ANY center that played against him and you will hear them all say Nate was the toughest. Only man able to block Kareem's sky hook. First man to record a quadruple double and would have had many more if blocks were recorded in his time. Even at 35, when he played against Celts in eastern finals in 76, Cowens said it was like having a curtain in front of him.

26Sidney Moncrief

First player to win the DPotY award! And he wouldn't allow somebody else to become the DPotY until he got himself 2 in a row.

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27Michael Cooper

Toughest defender according to Larry Bird.

On the 1980's "Showtime" Lakers, his job was to stop the young MJ, and he did a great job.

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28John StocktonJohn Houston Stockton is an American retired professional basketball player. He spent his entire professional playing career as a point guard for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, from 1984 to 2003. Stockton is regarded as one of the best point guards of all time, holding the NBA ...read more.

Stockton always seem to be underrated in these kind of lists. Unfortunately, that's what you get for not trash talking, not showboating, and making simple and effective decisions. He can't afford to be wasteful at his size.

Absolutely loved watching John's explosive basketball playing! No better ball stealer!

How is Stock not higher?!?!? All time steals leader? That is ALL heart and hustle.

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29Andrew Bogut
30Shaquille O'NealShaquille Rashaun O'Neal, nicknamed Shaq, is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA.

While Shaq has never won the DPotY award, he has been named to the NBA All-Defensive 2nd team 3 times. I personally think his ability to defend is matched by very few others.

He's just a beast that's all I can say

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31Clyde Drexler
32Mark Eaton

5.56 Blocks per Game! Maybe Russell had more, but nobody has had higher numbers since the records have been kept

What! Lebron and Wade over one of the greates shot-blockers in history?

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33Kevin DurantKevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association.V3 Comments
34Chris PaulChristopher Emmanuel Paul is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association.

One of the toughest defenders at the guard position

35Larry BirdLarry Joe Bird is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association.

He's so good he was in a McDonalds advert with Jordan

A brilliant all rounder, should be much higher

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36Bill Walton

For a couple of years...probably the best player I ever saw.

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37Serge IbakaV1 Comment
38David RobinsonDavid Maurice Robinson is an American former professional basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association for his entire career.

DpotY, that season he had 4.5 blocks per game to go along with 2.3 steals per game, and yes that is an all-time NBA record for Bpg + Spg in a season (not counting Wilt and Russel). Consistently around 3.5 Bpg and 1.6 Spg for 6 other seasons. Really should be around #10-11 ahead of easily ahead of Lebron, Kobe, Garnet, Jerry West, Bruce Bowen, Wade, and Nash... and probably Moses Malone and Artest as well

DPotY 91-92, in that year he averaged 4.5 Bpg + 2.3 Spg which is all-time NBA record for Bpg + Spg in a season (not counting Wilt and Russel). Also averaged 3.5 Bpg + 1.6 Spg for the OTHER 6 of his first 7 seasons. Really should be around #10-11.

39Kurt Rambis

Come on how was he not on before

40Brian Scalabrine

This dude was a joke, I'm sure his name being here is a joke, but seriously this guy couldn't defend a statue

The best defender I've ever seen play. The real GOAT

The White Mamba is the greatest player to ever step on a basketball court, he singlehandedly carried the Celtics to the finals and carried them the whole series, he also locked down every player he guarded

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List StatsUpdated 10 Dec 2016

1,000 votes
65 listings
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