When it comes to defense, almost nothing is more valuable than a disciplined perimeter player who can guard the greatest scorers in the league while staying out of foul trouble. The impact they can have on the game is immense, as they can disrupt plays, throwing the other team out of rhythm, and create multiple fastbreak opportunities with their ability to strip the ball and jump passing lanes.
As the game becomes more perimeter-centric, this sort of player will only become more valuable as the years go by, as a defender that can stop the likes of Curry and Durant from getting shots up from deep can completely change the course of a game, or even playoff series.
The thing is though, a player like the one I described above is extremely rare, they don’t come around that often. So rare in fact, that a Reddit user going by Poomandu1 has discovered that only 10 players in the history of the NBA have ever accumulated more steals than fouls across the course of their playing days, which is a ridiculous stat to think about.
Take a look at the list of some of the most well-disciplined defenders in the history of the NBA.
10. Lester Conner – 1085 Steals vs. 1036 Fouls
9. Ronnie Brewer – 622 Steals vs. 545 Fouls
8. Don Buse – 1160 Steals vs. 967 Fouls
7. Gus Williams – 1638 Steals vs. 1637 Fouls
6. Mookie Blaylock – 2075 Steals vs. 1687 Fouls
5. Maurice Cheeks – 2310 Steals vs. 2258 Fouls
4. Jimmy Butler – 583 Steals vs. 567 Fouls
3. Kawhi Leonard – 705 Steals vs. 697 Fouls
2. Allen Iverson – 1983 Steals vs. 1777 Fouls