It takes a lot more than having a good shot to play and compete at the highest elite level. Power, muscle, awareness, endurance and certainly speed. Some of the greatest past and modern day players are also some of the quickest of all time.
We’ve put together a list of 10 of the fastest NBA players of all time.
10. Isaiah Thomas
At 5 foot 9, one of this point guard’s best attributes is the speed that Thomas can travel up and down the court. After nine seasons in the league, his speed has never dropped off and arguably he’s been able to run quicker as his career has progressed. Because of height, IT has needed to be quick to stay in the professional league as he needed to develop a quick release time with his jump shot.
9. Rajon Rondo
When people think of Rondo’s greatest talent, almost everyone thinks about his amazing ability to pass, assist and set up shots. However, it may be underrated on just how talented he is on foot with his incredible pace. Rondo certainly knows it too having a history with challenging NFL player Chris Johnson and the quickest man alive, Usain Bolt to a race. Not only can he run fast but he can pass fast too, the speed he can pass the ball plays a massive role in his ability to rack up the assists.
8. Michael Jordan
You can’t be one of the best of all time by being slow and Michael Jordan was anything but slow. Although it’s not his best attribute and if you were comparing this to LeBron then he would probably be covered by the new Lakers addition.
However, that doesn’t take away from just how fast Jordan really was during his career. Especially early on in his career, Jordan’s fast-break speed was as good as anyone’s. Trying to guard or stop Michael Jordan is just about impossible.
7. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving can dribble better than just about anyone and his speed on the court matches his dribbling abilities. Not many players can dribble, break ankles and run as well as what Kyrie can, this makes it almost impossible for opponents to be able to guard this talented point guard. Irving seems to get around his opponents with ease helping him get to the basket to score.
6. Dwyane Wade
He may be well and truly past his prime now as he comes towards the twilight end of his career, however, Dwyane Wade has always had a strong attribute of explosive speed that matched his physical abilities in his prime. While his physical game has slightly deteriorated over the years, Wade has never lost his incredible pace as he can still easily outrun and out dodge opponents on his way to the basket.
5. LeBron James
Arguably the greatest of all time and a lot of that is due to his strength, body and athletic abilities. Being a fairly well-built player, you wouldn’t expect LeBron to be insanely quick but he has proven that false with the ability to make huge chase down blocks and being able to run fast breaks and break ankles. LeBron James is the ultimate athlete and speed is just yet another part of his game that he has perfected.
4. Allen Iverson
Iverson never had height on his side so his speed on the court was a large focal point for his game. Through hard work and a low center of gravity, Iverson was a master in fast breaks, steals and crossing up opponents on the court. His talents helped him become of the best one on one players in the league and he has sure left a great legacy behind him.
3. Derrick Rose
After tearing his ACL and going through multiple surgeries, Derrick Rose hasn’t been able to truly get back to his pre-injury form. Although he still has pace, the speeds that Rose was able to get to before his knee injury were incredible and played a big role in his MVP winning season. Rose was able to score the majority of his points through fast break plays, being able to dodge and weave through opponents with ease.
2. John Wall
Everyone knows that Wall is one of the quickest players in the entire league and his very own coach, Scott Brooks, believes that John Wall may be the fastest player the league has ever seen. His unbelievable pace that can get him from one side of the court to another helps enhance his game, knowing that he doesn’t need to rush to put up a shot when the buzzer is about to go. With or without the ball, Wall is just as quick allowing him to become such a good offensive and defensive player.
1. Russell Westbrook
If you were wondering just how fast Russell Westbrook really is then this statistic should show you. According to ESPN “Sport Science”, it takes Westbrook just 3.36 seconds to travel from one baseline to another, which is supposedly “more than half a second faster than the time it takes a typical NBA player to cover the same distance.”
His explosive and yet almost inhuman like speed has given Westbrook the ability to break and achieve incredible stat lines including being able to average a triple-double at certain times of his career.