The first Wildcat I ever became enamored with was Tayshaun Prince. I pounded my chest when he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons and enjoyed their run to an NBA Championship over the Los Angeles Lakers. Throughout the entire series he guarded Kobe Bryant. “Man that’s cool, and HAS to be impossible,” I thought to myself many years ago.
Since then, my favorite question for all former Wildcats that made it to the NBA is, “Who’s the toughest guy you’ve ever guarded?” Nazr Mohammed has been in the NBA for 13 long years and he’s seen the best of the best. He broke down the six most difficult tasks for The Players’ Tribune. Coming in at #1 – Shaq.
When I saw him on the schedule, my main goal was to just not let him dunk the ball.
That was it.
You knew he was going to get good shots, but trying to keep him from dunking ensured that I stayed aggressive. In his prime, it was a good night for you defensively if you held Shaq to 20 points and 10 rebounds with no dunks.
Shaq was the cream of the crop, the one that stood out above the rest. He listed the following five but he remained diplomatic, putting them in no particular order.
- Rasheed Wallace
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Tim Duncan
- Yao Ming
- Kevin Garnett
It’s a must read for any basketball junkie, especially if you’ve ever had to bang with the big guys in the post. It’s also a testament to Nazr. The fact that he’s lasted this long against some of the greatest post players to ever set foot on a court is almost unbelievable.