Will the NBA ever learn? One of the biggest adages in NBA lore is "ya can't teach size!!!" Well, apparantly you can't teach size to play basketball either. Aside from them being really, really tall freaks of nature who can block shots...they really aren't good for much else.
Yeah, yeah, yeah...Yao Ming is kinda good. Sure, but for a #1 overall pick...he really isn't tearing up the league. He has a few good games...then a string of mediocre ones. But, the Manute Bols and Gheorge Muresans are more sideshows than super stars.
Which brings me to Shawn Bradley. Word is that the 7'6 center is set to retire from the NBA. He has some bad knees [no kidding] and wants to spend time with his wife and SIX kids [dude is a Mormon].
Shawn Bradley was the #2 overall pick in the 1993 draft...right after Chris Webber and right before Penny Hardaway. In an odd twist, Bradley wasn't even the tallest player in the 1993 draft...the 7'7" Muresan was. He played just one season at BYU before taking a 2-year mission to Australia. Upon returning to school...Bradley announced his intention to enter the NBA draft. He spent his first two seasons with Philadelphia before moving on to New Jersey. He's spent the last 8 1/2 seasons in Dallas.
He led the NBA in blocks in 1996-1997 as a member of the Nets and Mavericks. He'll finish his career averaging 8 pts and 6 rbs.
What a career for a guy who was supposed to usher in the Freakishly Tall Greats!!
As I said, Gheorge Muresan was the tallest player in the 1993 draft...and the tallest player in NBA history. He was most noted for his God-awful looks...his knee-knocking sprint..and his role in "My Giant" with Billy Crystal. He also won the NBA's Most Improved Player Award in 1996.
If there ever was a perfect player to be minding the paint for the Utah Jazz...it was Mark Eaton. The 7'4 Eaton actually had a quite nice career. He is currently 3rd all time in blocked shots....and had an unreal 5.5 bpg average in 1986.
Manute Bol may be the best known giant. The Sudanese born player was truly more of a sideshow than anything. He was known to pull up from behind the arc and pop in a 3-point shot. Twice, he blocked 15 shots [both of those games tie for 2nd all time in a single game]. In recent years...he's played hockey and been a boxer.