In order to stand from the pack in the NBA, you need to have that special something. You need to be one of the few chosen, and besides hard work, you have to be born with that special gene that turns you into a freak.
Some players thrive due to their efforts, other due to their discipline, others thanks to the system they play in, but over the course of history, we’ve witnessed a handful of players that look naturally born to dominate the league.
These players may not be the best players in basketball history, but their god given talents put them on a class of themselves when compared with your average ballers. Today, we’re going to let you know about the 10 greatest freaks of nature in NBA history.
Honorable Mention: Yao Ming, Ralph Simons
10. Dwight Howard
We all agree to the fact that Dwight Howard talents pretty much went down the drain and that he’s never going to fulfill his true potential and become one of the most dominant big men ever, but still, there’s simply no denying the gifts nature gave him.
He’s undersized but stronger than pretty much every big man in this league, let alone his freakish athleticism and a 40-inch vertical jump for a guy his size, something that always made him stand out from the pack.
9. Russell Westbrook
You may not like some things about Russell Westbrook’s game, but c’mon, he’s one of the fastest, most explosive players we have ever seen. He was the fastest player in the world before John Wall reached his prime, and his 36.5’’ vertical gives him the chance to pretty much posterize everybody.
He’s one of the best rebounding point guards in the world, even before Steven Adams handed him most of his boards to help him average a triple-double, and according to various of his colleagues, he’s the most athletic player to have ever set foot on an NBA hardwood.
8. Spud Webb
Most young fans may not remember about Spud Webb, one of the shortest players to ever lace them up and set foot on an NBA hardwood. Standing at 5’7’’, you know this guy had to be something special in order to succeed among giants.
Webb was a crafty playmaker and even a solid off-ball defender at times, but what made him even more impressive, is the fact that he actually had a 46’’ vertical jump and could even throw 360 dunks and finish alley-oops, even winning a Dunk Contest.
7. Magic Johnson
There will never be another Magic Johnson. There simply won’t. C’mon, we’re talking about a 6’9’’ point guard that could block a shot, grab the board, run the break and throw a skip pass in about a couple of seconds.
Johnson was a walking triple-double threat and the most dominant point guard we’ve ever seen, not to mention his incredible playmaking ability. He was pretty much a small forward running the point on ways nobody had ever done.
6. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant always drew a lot of hate because of the fact that he was a bit of a tweener for a big man, being considered as much as a skinny guy that could shoot pretty well. Needless to say, he’s found the way to use his huge wingspan to become a top-tier rim protector.
Listed at 6’11’’, most people believe he’s actually a 7 footer. He doesn’t have much of a vertical jump but moves very quickly and with the same agility as most guards, not to mention the fact that he’s an incredibly prolific shooter for a guy his size.
5. Michael Jordan
The greatest player of all times has to make our list as well, as Michael Jordan was definitely not human. He had the most competitive mentality in the history of the game, even ahead of Kobe Bryant, not to mention the fact that he had the quickest first step basketball has ever seen.
Jordan was able to guard 1 through 5 with great ease and was always the most determined player in the league. Also, he had a 46’’ vertical and isn’t known as ‘Air Jordan’ out of pure grace, as he made a living out of embarrassing guys with his emphatic and athletic dunks from the charity stripe.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t called the Greek Freak just because it rhymes. Giannis is perfectly built for the game of basketball, as he could easily play or guard all 5 spots in the court with great ease. To put him in perspective, he’s as tall as Dwight Howard but moves a smoothly as a guard.
The Greek Freak can dunk from the free throw line and run a fast break with just a couple of steps due to his incredible wingspan. He’s long, athletic and getting stronger by the day, and he’ll go down as one of the most explosive players of his era, for sure. Also, his hands are about 12 inches long.
3. LeBron James
LeBron James is a 6’8’’ guy that’s also 260 pounds out of pure muscle, and he’s just pretty much stronger than most human beings. He’s also been known for being a point forward for his entire career, and the fact that he’s always had his team’s playbook at the back of his head has always made him a coach in the hardwood.
James has a 40 inch vertical and even thrived at football during his high school years. He’s got the ability to pretty much jump over centers and posterize everybody, as well as the skill set and the intelligence to play all 5 spots on the court. Also, entering his 15th season, he had the best year of his career.
2. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal, standing at 7’1’’ with a 38 inch vertical, is simply the most dominant big man in the history of the game, a guy that actually hurt his rivals when they were trying to send him to the line, and that shattered backboards as if they were made or salt.
Nobody could outwork Shaq. He was the most athletic, explosive and strong player in the world during his prime, and he could pretty much lift weights that were heavier than most of his teammates. Also, he had a ballerina-like footwork and was incredibly gifted in the offensive end to complement his physical gifts.
1. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain looked more like a circus freak than a basketball player, and he was even a part of the Harlem Globetrotters before making it to the league. He dominated every opposition as a taller, stronger, more athletic and just physically gifted player that even played professional volleyball right after he retired from the NBA.
Chamberlain even enjoyed climbing to rooftops and jumping from one to the other, just because he could. As a matter of fact, the NBA actually had to change a lot of rules in order to make the game more fair for everybody who played against him, but they failed, as he was the most unstoppable player on the court every time he played. We’re talking about a guy that dislocated a man’s shoulder by blocking his shot.