By Kevin Smith
Right before Christmas, Lou Williams found himself in an attempt to be robbed at gunpoint. Luckily for him, he was able to use his celebrity status to avoid any harm. This situation got us to thinking, what if Lou Will had any of his basketball buddies with him? Which current athletes would make the best bodyguards? Although Shaq might have topped this list if he was still playing, there’s still plenty of security to be found in these ten players.
Here are 10 NBA players who would make great bodyguards.
10. Corey Maggette
Although Maggette is now 32 years old, he has always been one of the most sculpted players in the league. For over 12 seasons, he’s been using his 6-6, 218-pound frame to absorb contact and get to the free-throw line, where he is a career 82.2 percent shooter. Even as he ages, Maggette can still withstand the hacking, as he was getting to the line a team high 5.2 attempts per game before he went down with a hamstring injury. Even with a bad hammy, is anyone going to mess with this?
9. Carl Landry
Landry may not be the biggest or strongest player on this list, but anyone who can take a bullet and only miss minimal time has bodyguard written all over them. In 2009, Landry was driving on a Houston street, when a car swerved into his path and collided with his vehicle. Landry and the driver of the other vehicle made U-turns and the vehicles collided again and Landry’s SUV hit a utility pole. Landry got out of his SUV to inspect the damage, and was shot by one of the occupants of the car. He returned to game action less than three weeks later, furthering his reputation as one of the league’s toughest players.
8. Joey Graham
Joey Graham looks like he could be one of these high school ballers sent in to throw people around if he wanted to. His game is obviously far superior, but at 6-7, 225 pounds, Graham has some of the widest shoulders in the league. Just check out this picture of him from his Oklahoma State days. Enough said.
7. Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce falls into the Carl Landry category of toughness. At a nightclub in late September of 2000, Pierce was stabbed 11 times while trying to break up a fight. He was rushed to a hospital by teammate Tony Battie, where he underwent lung surgery to repair the damage. Nevertheless, Pierce was the only Celtic to start all 82 games in the 2000-01 season.
6. LeBron James
You don’t earn the nickname “Man Child” for no reason… although at age 27 and with eight years of experience, you can’t really consider him a child anymore. But at 6-8, 240 pounds, he is 110 percent man. A wingspan of slightly over seven feet would provide a nice reach; just don’t ask LeBron to protect you once the fourth quarter rolls around.
5. Amar’e Stoudemire
Stoudemire was already one of the most physically intimidating players in the league and that was before he added 15 pounds of muscle. At 6-11, 260 pounds, Stoudemire is not known for imposing his will on the boards or in the paint, but plays an extremely aggressive style at power forward. He is known around the league as a gym rat and is obsessed with working on his already wide frame.
4. Metta World Peace
Metta’s first twelve NBA seasons have been filled with everything but World Peace. It’s sad that most casual fans will only remember him for the “Malice at the Palace,” but his rugged attitude is what gives him the psychological edge on his opponents. He’s always been one of the league’s toughest players and top defenders and you wouldn’t want to go to battle with very many other people.
3. Andrew Bynum
Not only is Andrew Bynum one of the biggest players in the league, but he’s also garnering the reputation as one of the dirtiest. Just pretend J.J. Barea was the gunman approaching Lou Williams. This is an example of what Bynum could have done if hired to be his bodyguard.
2. Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard was drafted as a physical freak at the age of 19. Now with almost eight years to improve his body, he has settled in at 6-11, 275 pounds. He doesn’t have the most aggressive personality – in fact some people think his laid back, always joking attitude will keep him from winning championships – but his size would be enough to thwart any enemies.
1. DeMarcus Cousins
Sometimes it’s better to be crazy than a good fighter. Cousins has both the size at 6-11, 270 pounds, and intensity to be one of the most intimidating players. His attitude needs an adjustment in the basketball world, but if you need somebody on your side of the ring, who better than Cousins? If you need a little help, here’s an example of what you’d be getting.