Both offense and defense are essential in basketball. The timing of a block may completely change the game, energizing the fans and crushing the spirits of the other side. Particularly valuable is the ability to block shots, which calls for quick reflexes, physical prowess, and awareness of one’s surroundings.

The ability to stop shots is a rare talent that elevates even the best defenders to the next level. Masters of the shot block leave an everlasting impression on the game and raise the standard for future defensive greats.

Their performance on the court demonstrates that defense may be the greatest attack. Three of the NBA‘s best-ever shot-blockers are honored here.

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

When talking about effective shot blockers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar must be included. Abdul-Jabbar, a former center for both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, is third on the NBA’s all-time record with 3,189 blocks. The fact that Abdul-Jabbar set this mark before blocks were ever officially recorded by the NBA just adds to the awe inspired by his accomplishment.

Abdul-Jabbar was one of the most well-rounded players in NBA history because of his ability to score and defend at a high level thanks to his trademark skyhook and towering 7’2″ height.

2. Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo, a player of Congolese and American descent, amassed an NBA record 3,289 blocks throughout his career. Mutombo was a defensive powerhouse at center for the Denver Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks, among other teams.

Mutombo, who was 7 feet tall, often thwarted his opponents’ efforts to score because of his towering stature and lengthy limbs. As a signal of his defensive prowess, his distinctive finger wag after blocking a shot quickly became iconic.

1. Hakeem Olajuwon

Nigerian-American basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon tops the list as the best shot blocker in NBA history. Olajuwon played the center position for most of his 18-year NBA career, largely with the Houston Rockets, and set a record with 3,830 blocks.

His speed, agility, and timing let him block shots well. As a testament to his all-around greatness, Olajuwon is the only player in NBA history to retire in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, and steals.