Blocking shots is an essential part of defense in the NBA. As time has gone on, offensive players have gotten better and more creative, so they have found ways to evade defenders and get to the basket. But if a defender can stay close to them till they reach the basketball, they can contest the shot and even block it to make sure it doesn't go in.
Blocking is not easy at all. Players usually need either big hands or a big wingspan in order to get their hands on a shot. On top of that, offensive players are usually very quick and therefore require a lot of speed to have their shots blocked. This is why big men in the NBA are usually tasked with getting blocks in a game.
But offensive players are not impervious to being blocked. If anything, some of the most incredible offensive players get blocked the most.
Reddit user u/WowGoodStats shared an interesting data collection on the platform showcasing the most blocked players in NBA history since blocks have been recorded as a stat. In the list, former MVP and NBA Champion Tim Duncan is on top, having been blocked 1483 times.
Behind him were Carmelo Anthony, Zach Randolph, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Pau Gasol, Paul Pierce, Jermaine O'Neal, and Antoine Walker. All these players rounded off the top 10, with Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker taking up 11th and 12th respectively.
Interestingly enough, u/WowGoodStats also put the percentages of total shots blocked for each player in the list, which tells a completely different story. Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Jermaine O'Neal were on the top of that list, whereas Bryant was at the bottom. Take a look at the information below to see the numbers in detail.
Most Blocked Players In NBA History:
1. Tim Duncan (1483)
2. Carmelo Anthony (1379)
3. Zach Randolph (1320)
4. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1250)
5. Kobe Bryant (1211)
6. Allen Iverson (1186)
7. Pau Gasol (1156)
8. Paul Pierce (1141)
9. Jermaine O'Neal (1079)
10. Antoine Walker (1060)
11. Russell Westbrook (1055)
12. Tony Parker (1023)
Percentage Of Total Shots Blocked
1. Shareef Abdur-Rahim (10.9%)
2. Jermaine O'Neal: (9.8%)
3. Zach Randolph (8.4%)
4. Pau Gasol (7.7%)
5. Tim Duncan (7.3%)
6. Antoine Walker (7.2%)
7. Tony Parker (6.5%)
8. Carmelo Anthony (6.3%)
9. Allen Iverson (6.0%)
10. Russell Westbrook (5.9%)
11. Paul Pierce (5.9%)
12. Kobe Bryant (4.4%)
Despite Kobe being blocked the fifth-most times, he's only had 4.4% of his career shots block. That is probably because Kobe was a volume shooter, and took more shots than most people on the list.
Out of all the people on the list, Shareef Abdur-Rahim's numbers are the worst. He has been blocked the fourth-most times and has the highest percentage of blocked shots out of everyone on the list.
In fact, the author also put up an interesting stat to show how vulnerable Raheem was to being blocked. Abdur-Rahim has been blocked more times in his career than Joe Johnson and Kevin Durant combined (1250 for Abdur-Rahim, 1210 for KD+Johnson).
To make things worse, Durant and Johnson took almost three times as many shots (34181 for KD and Johnson, 11515 for Abdur-Rahim).
Players like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, and Russell Westbrook are some of the best offensive players in the league's history. But they have also had their shots blocked more times than anyone else.
These kinds of stats showcase the importance of blocking. But also, it shows us that even the best offensive players in the NBA can be stopped.