One's Gotta Go: Rim Protection Edition

Alright we're back with another NBA Twitter quarantine debate and this time we're talking about some of the most elite rim protection the NBA has ever seen. Every single one of these dudes was an absolute force on the defensive end and if voters would finally wake the fuck up about Ben Wallace we would have 4 Hall Of Famers in this exercise (yes, Dwight is making the HOF so get over it).

Sadly, you know the rules. One of these guys has to go and it's important to remember that we are talking strictly rim protection here. This is not a debate about all around defender, because that changes things. As we always do, we'll look at everyone's case before coming to our eventual conclusion. 

Dikembe Mutombo


Career Rim Protection Stats: 2.8 blocks / 3.2 blocks Per 36 / 4.7 blocks Per 100 Possessions / 6.3 BLK%

Over the course of Dikembe's career he led the NBA in blocks per game a total of 3 times, all coming in a row in the early 90s with the Nuggets. In terms of total blocks, he led the NBA 5 times. He's second all time in blocks behind Hakeem with 3,289. His finger wag is one of the most iconic moves in NBA history. This is a man that averaged 1.2 blocks at the age of 42 (!!!!) and had just one season in his career where he put up less than 1.0 blocks per game (0.9). He was 39. Safe to say Dikembe is moving on.

Alonzo Mourning

Career Rim Protection Stats: 2.8 blocks / 3.3 blocks Per 36 / 4.8 blocks Per 100 Possessions / 6.6 BLK%

If I had to guess, Alonzo Mourning would be the popular choice by people. When you look closer, you realize he had better stats across the board than Dikembe! No chance the majority of people know that fact, I know I sure as shit didn't until I looked it up. The only main difference from Mourning compared to the other three is he played around 300 fewer games. He led the NBA in block averages and block totals just twice, but for his career he had only 2 seasons he put up under 2.0 blocks a game and one of those he only played 12 games. In the late 80s he was throwing up 3.9 blocks a night and then backed that up the next year with 3.7. I'm not sure a lot of younger stoolies realize what a monster he was at protecting the rim, but he was one of the greatest ever, ranking 12th all time.

Dwight Howard


Career Rim Protection Stats: 1.9 blocks / 2.1 blocks Per 36 / 2.9 blocks Per 100 Possessions / 4.4 BLK%

When you think of Dwight you think back to his ORL days when he was one of the most unstoppable defensive forces in the league. Winning 3 straight DPOYs will do that. But we're talking rim protection here. Like Mourning, Dwight led the NBA in blocks per game and block totals twice in his career. He ranks 16th all time in blocks, but of the four is tied for playoff blocks per game at 2.5  in 95 games. Prime Dwight was a force on the defensive end there is no debate there, but I'm not so sure you can consider him safe here.

Ben Wallace

Career Rim Protection Stats: 2.0 blocks / 2.4 blocks Per 36 / 3.5 blocks Per 100 Possessions / 5.0 BLK%

If you ask me, it's bullshit that Ben Wallace isn't in the HOF. What's the hold up? One of the greatest defenders ever, he did things right in line with some of the legends of the game and he did it at 6'9. He has better rim protection numbers than Dwight, ranks higher all time in blocks, won 4 DPOYs in 5 years, and has a chip in what was one of the biggest Finals upsets ever. Seems like he should be in then Hall. He only led the NBA in blocks per game and block totals once in his career, but I dare you to find someone as dominant as Wallace's DET run. Three straight seasons averaging at least 3.0 blocks a game, over the 9 years he spent there he averaged 2.3. Not too shabby.

Alright, so who is getting the boot? Looking at the actual production, the answer has to be Dwight. If you were talking about overall defenders I'd probably go Alonzo simply for the fact that he has the fewest DPOYs of anyone listed (2). But we're talking straight rim protection and unfortunately Dwight's resume doesn't quite stack up.

So that's my pick. Do you agree? If not, who are you eliminating?