Throughout its history, the NBA has made some of the most athletic athletes in the league. Just jumping into the NBA requires a high level of athleticism. Players must maintain their stature and weight throughout their careers. However, some NBA stars are bigger than others when it comes to sheer athleticism. There are people who have made a name for themselves in other sports because of their athletic abilities.
In this article, we look at some of the most athletic people the NBA has seen in its history.
Five of the most athletic NBA players of all time
In recent years, some new stars have also shown a high level of sportiness. These stars are considered to be the sportiest stars of this generation. This includes greats like Zion Williamson and Aaron Gordon, whose dunking skills led to some of the most memorable moments in years. Regardless, let’s take a quick look at the NBA stars who are some of the most athletic athletes to ever grace the league:
# 5 Russel Westbrook
Westbrook is widely known as one of the most athletic basketball players to make it to the NBA in the past few decades. A hugely influential player on both sides of the court, Westbrook is the most productive triple-double machine the NBA has ever seen, as the statistics prove.
Westbrook was named the most athletic player in the league by none other than the late LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant during his days at OKC Thunder. Regardless, Westbrook’s speed, agility and strength, while not the greatest NBA player, are testament to his amazing athletic prowess, which he has shown year after year.
# 4 Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan makes this list for his poster dunks alone and has also had a brief career as a professional MLB baseball player. Widely considered the greatest player the NBA has ever seen, Jordan has won six championships with the Chicago Bulls.
Jordan retired for the first time at the end of the 1993 NBA season, playing for the Chicago White Sox during his hiatus. He returned to the NBA the following year. Proof of his athletic ability was the fact that after his first retirement he won three more championships. Jordan also had enough gasoline to return to the NBA for a third time in 2001. He spent two seasons with the Wizards, averaging over 20 points despite being nearly 40 years old.
# 3 Wilt Chamberlain
A look at Wilt Chamberlain’s career stats sheds light on the sheer dominance he has enjoyed throughout his career in the NBA. Chamberlain was widely known as the all-time top scorer. He was also known for his commanding defensive skills and is one of the best rebounders to ever play in the NBA.
Chamberlain holds several frightening scoring records that might as well never be broken in the NBA. He was best known for the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging more than 50 points for a full season, and was a four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion. Chamberlain’s ability to use his size and skill to dominate opponents was unmatched in the NBA, and he makes that list as the third most athletic person to ever honor the league.
# 2 LeBron James
LeBron James is one of the most athletic players to have ever played in the league. His longevity and general basketball skills make him the most complete player ever. James is perfectly capable of doing anything a basketball player can and looks like one of the best of all time.
James’ strength, speed, agility and dunking skills make him one of the most athletic basketball players of all time. The fact that, according to his former university trainer, he might as well have had a successful career in the NFL also proves that his athletic skills are unparalleled in the NBA. James is built like a tank, but also one of the fastest and most skilled basketball players to ever play in the NBA.
# 1 Bill Russell
A large segment of the NBA community may disagree, but when it comes to pure athletic skill, there’s no one who can rival Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell. Russell was the star of a Celtics dynasty that won the championship eleven times, and was an All-Star twelve times and NBA champion five times.
As the commanding center, Bill Russell was a die-hard defender and one of the best rebounders the league has ever seen. He was famous for his poster dunks and once jumped over a teammate on his way to a slam dunk. Bill Russell takes the top spot on this list of the most athletic people to ever play in the NBA.