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Who are the best left handers in the history of the NBA?

Aug 17, 2012, 3:25 PM EDT

Bill Russell Red AP

In the NBA, left handers throw guys off. You have to close out on shooters differently, you need to expect different moves in the post, they want their passes in slightly different locations. You need to be able to do certain things with both hands to really thrive in the NBA, but we all have a dominant hand.

Who are the greatest left handers in the history of the NBA?

Dime Magazine has asked that question and come up with list of the top 10 lefties in NBA history. We’re not going to totally ruin the list — you should click the link — but here are their top 3 and it is all legendary big men.

1) Bill Russell. Pretty hard to argue this, and if you do he’ll show you his two handfuls of rings. Plus one. There were 11 rings, 12 NBA All-Star games, five league MVPs, a guy known as the game’s greatest shot blocker and paint defender who averaged 15.1 points per game scoring. He gets shafted in the GOAT conversation, but not when it comes to lefties.

2) Willis Reed. Another legendary big man of another era, an anchor and inspiration for a Knicks championship team. He had career averaged of 18.7 points per game (five seasons above 20 PPG) and 12.9 rebounds. He was a force of nature in the late 1960s/early 1970s. He was a seven-time All-Star, MVP, two-time finals MVP, Rookie of the Year and a guy deserving to be on the list.

3) David Robinson. The Admiral is another legendary big man, who averaged 21.1 percent shooting on 51.8 percent shooting for his career, plus averaged 10.6 rebounds and three blocked shots a game. He’s got two NBA championship rings, one NBA MVP and 10 All-Star appearances. He was the first foundation of the Spurs dynasty.

There are guards on the list, go check it out.

  1. holleywood9 - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    21.1% on 51.8%. Not sure what it means but I’m impressed.

  2. dls612 - Aug 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    If you think left handed players throw guys off!, even handed are the worst! I played with dudes like that!

  3. funktron2x - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    No Manu? Then it is wrong. Look at his accomplishments and career PER. Just because he was humble and willing to take the role Pop gave him doesn’t mean he’s not one of the best lefties to ever play. He’s better than Sam Perkins, that’s for sure.

  4. skinsfanwill - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Where the heck is Derrick Coleman?

    • skinsfanwill - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      In reading the Chris Mullin portion of that ratings article I noticed they referred to Bill Wennington as “Legendary”. I stopped reading after that. Anyone that refers to that bum as legendary has no idea what basketball is. Therefore, your top 10 list is totally null and void. The writer has lost all credibility!!!!!

  5. icu84bs - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    “Left hand, right hand, it doesn’t matter. I’m amphibious.” -Charles Shackleford of the NCSU basketball team

    • skinsfanwill - Aug 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM


  6. t16rich - Aug 17, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Wilt obviously. With all those women and threesomes, his left hand probably grew some unique talents.

  7. heathater4lifeson - Aug 17, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Where’s ginoooooobili?!?

  8. lakerluver - Aug 17, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Don’t know where he ranks on the list but Chris Mullins had arguably the prettiest lefty jump shot ever.

  9. lakerluver - Aug 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    *Mullin*! (drop the S)

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