The fake videos of LeBron James, who won an Oscar for his acting antics during the NBA playoffs, have garnered millions of views. They show James, who is about 6 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 275, squirming on the floor after barely touching him, completely faking contact, and falling to the floor after allegedly being laid out by half-height guards.
The sad thing is not that one of the top five NBA players of all time resorted to such nonsense (actually, that's the saddest part, but maybe not the saddest part), but that the NBA no longer has the actual enforcer on the floor who wouldn't think twice about really pounding James.
You know who I'm talking about.
The fat guys. The bad attitudes. The sinister, growling, badass guys who'd rather do nothing than burn a foul by tattooing the other team's best player on the sidewalk. In honor of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, M & F's All-Iron Enforcer Squad is here.
Photo by Andre Tan on Unsplash
Xavier McDaniel: 6 & # 39; 7 ", 220 pounds.
Xavier McDaniel had the nickname (X-Man), the intensity, and the trash talk to be the smallest, but perhaps the toughest man on our team. McDaniel, who became the Seattle Supersonics' home hero after a surprise run into the Western Conference Finals in the late 80s and early 90s, was an exceptional goalscorer and defensive powerhouse who set the tone for the Sonics. After his time in Seattle, he played for the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks, where he painted the final masterpiece of his career: he brought Scottie Pippen the thunder in 1992 in a seven-game series for Pat Riley.
Rick Mahon: 6/10 ", 240 pounds.
Rick Mahorn became a cornerstone of the Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" championship team in 1989 and, according to Pistons & # 39; Announcer George Blaha he was the "Baddest Boy of All". Built like a Mack truck, Mahon's style of play was part basketball, part UFC fighter, and all of it intimidation. After being traded for the Philadelphia 76ers, he became half of the NBA's famous rebounding tandem with Charles Barkley, dubbed "Thump & # 39; N Bump". Mahon should be on this list for that nickname alone, though we're still not sure if he was Thump or Bump.
Charles Oakley: 6,9 ", 250 lbs
"Oak" was the epitome of the executioner who harassed and beat himself as a protector on the pitch for stars like Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing by the NBA. In his early days, his main responsibility was to make anyone who fouled MJ pay with an elbow or a nudge, or an elbow, then a nudge, and a possible hip check and forearm back. During the 10 years he was with the New York Knicks, Oakley was essentially the Knicks' defensive bouncer; Any opposing player who tried to lose color would be thrown on their ass.
Anthony Mason: 6 & # 39; 7 ", 250 lbs.
With Patrick Ewing and the aforementioned Charles Oakley, "Mase" was the third member of one of the most brutal NBA front courts of the 90s. While Mason slightly resembled D-Bo from the movie Friday, he had the frame of a tight end with the arms of a heavyweight boxer. Unlike some of the other guys who occupied the Enforcer spot on this list, Mason had a slightly bigger role on his teams, winning the sixth Man of the Year in 1995, the third team in the NBA in 1997, and becoming an All-Star in 2001.
Ben Wallace: 6,9 ", 250 lbs.
The newly minted Basketball Hall of Famer was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times in the 2000s for the Detroit Pistons. He was also a four-time All-Star and NBA Champion, which makes him the most accomplished player on our list. Make no mistake, Wallace was in every way the punisher of his enforcer brothers. t only did he have shoulders that any bodybuilder would envy, but he also had long, muscular arms that enabled him to grab boards, fend off shots, and box the tall men on the other team with ease. And for a big guy, he had a damn good engine. Never stop, never give up and always overtake double teams and undercut guards for rebounds.
Udonis Haslem: 6’8 ", 245 lbs.
Udoni's "UD" Haslem came from the University of Florida and was not drafted because he was considered too small to play forward in the NBA. Disappointed, he eventually signed a contract to play in France and notoriously showed up to weigh in at £ 300. He lost 50 pounds over the course of the season and eventually found himself the perfect size to become a rebound and defensive specialist for the Miami Heat. He played his entire career on The Heat, first patrolling the lane to get revenge on anyone who tried to take out a young Dwyane Wade, and then eventually playing "dirty work, deep in the trenches" on the LeBron James, Wade and Chris Bosh championship teams.
Kendrick Perkins: 6/10 ", 270 pounds.
Kendrick "Perk" Perkins is probably the tallest and strongest man on this list. All you had to do was look at the annoying power striker from southeast Texas and you knew he wasn't to be trifled with. With less gym strength and more raw country boy power, Perk exuded a "don't mess with me" attitude throughout his career. In his first eight years with the Celtics, he won a title and served as an unwavering defensive player on an All-Star starting grid that includes Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.
Jon Finkel is the author of the new book 1996: A Biography – Reliving the Legend-Packed, Dynasty-Stacked, Most Iconic Sports Year Eve. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Finkel and visit www.jonfinkel.com.