Throwback Thursday: All-time blocks leaders

VIDEO: Best centers: Hakeem Olajuwon

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: All-Time Blocks Leaders

We continue our Throwback Thursday All-Time Statistical Leaders series today by looking at the Top 10 all-time blocks leaders.

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)

Gallery: TBT: All-time blocks leaders

Make sure to check out our previous All-Time Statistical Leaders galleries if you missed them!
All-time steals leaders
All-time assists leaders

Which of these players would you most want to make a win-saving block for your squad? Leave your comments below!


  1. Conrad says:

    Where is “Hakeem giveth and Hakeem taketh away”? GLARING OMISSION!!!

  2. Nate says:

    Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain would have easily led this category if the NBA had kept track of the stat sooner.

  3. Pétrus says:

    If i would have to pick one of these guys to take the game-saving block, i would pick Robert Parish, he was very agile around the rim and this allowed him to block a quick layup or a corner shot, i have a few games of the celtics back in the 80s, and to me, he was the most defensive-minded center of these players on the list, although guys like Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing, Abdul-Jabbar and especially Hakeem Olajuwon are good defenders around the rim, but as i said before, to me, Parish was a little more quickly when it comes to blocks

  4. T gas TT ako says:

    wheres DHOWARD!!!!

  5. Daniel says:

    @Conrad Hakeem is #1 on the list

  6. Edward Diener says:

    You are kidding this time. The 2 greatest shot blockers of all time by a huge margin completely left off this list ? Did the NBA all of a sudden decide to wipe out its entire history and everybody’s memory of games before 1980 ? Shame on all of you !

  7. LoveFromSingapore says:

    Ben Wallace was a beast during his prime with Pistonsm, so was Dwight Howard in his Orlando uniform… stats dont lie

  8. Rangers says:

    Block leaders would be:
    1) Wilt (estimated 7 blocks a game. Let that sink in)
    2) russell
    3) Kareem ( first 5~ years didn’t record blocks)
    4) Hakeem

  9. erick leroux says:

    @ Edward Diener. You do realise the list is based on statistics and blocks were not counted on stat sheets before 1973. Therefore Wilt Cahmberlain and Bill Russell have no place in a statistical leader list.

    • Edward Diener says:

      Because statistics on blocks prior to 1973 were not recorded you think that wipes out the accomplishments of Russell and Chamberlain and they don’t belong among the best in that area ?

      Anyone who watched either one of them play knows that they dwarfed the blocked shot accomplishments of any player who has come after them. 20+ rebounds and half a dozen blocked shots was par for a game when they were in their primes. Also playing a full 48 minutes nearly every game. You can’t just wipe out those accomplishments by saying that because statistics were not kept they did not happen.

      I am a Celtic fan who watched Russell play in many games. He regularly blocked the shots of opponents who thought they could score easily close to the basket, because of his athleticism and knowledge of basketball and the tendencies of the players who he played against. He was so good he not only could block shots but did it in such a way that the blocked shot would end up in the hands of one of his own teammates or himself. He scorned the idea of blocking shots by just swatting the ball away, as so many modern players do. He changed the game of basketball itself by being so good as a defensive player.

      Statistics are nice but in lieu of statistics there are the many memories of people which watched Russell and Chamberlain play over many years. When it comes to blocking shots (and rebounding the ball) they were easily the best.

  10. Gillsy says:

    John Thompson at Georgetown must have been such a great defensive coach of big men. When you think he had Ewing, Mutombo and Zo.