Strength is one of the main features an athlete needs in order to thrive and dominate against his opposition, and even though some players are constantly hitting the gym to get ripped and build their body, others just have that natural strength ever since their early days.
Big men need to be strong in order to gain and maintain their ground against some of the biggest specimens in the world, so obviously this is a major plus when it comes to playing basketball.
Over the course of history, we’ve seen incredibly developed superhumans like Shaquille O’Neal or Ben Wallace, guys that would wind up hurting other guys that tried to foul them or would destroy backboards with great ease.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 strongest players that are still playing in the NBA, although probably none of them’s ever going to be able to matchup against Shaquille O’Neal, though.
10. Tyson Chandler
Sitting at 235 pounds, the former 2nd overall pick and Defensive Player of the Year is just a giant monster that you wouldn’t want to try and fight. Of course, he’s never been much of a troublemaker or an aggressive guy, but his gifted physique has always helped him clean the glass with ease and even though he’s nowhere nearly his former self right now, he's still a pretty good rim protector and dominant force down low when locked down.
9. Serge Ibaka
This 6’10 big man sits at 233 pounds despite being way shorter than Tyson Chandler, something that may give you a clue of how much of a physical monster Serge is. Back in the day when he was one of the best defenders in the Association, you just couldn’t get past him without paying the price. Besides, he’s not only physically strong but mentally as well, trying really hard to get his family out of Africa since being a youngster.
8. DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan came pretty much out of nowhere as a second rounder on a very bad Los Angeles Clippers team to become a top-tier defensive center in the world right now, making the most of his 264 pounds to be able to gain and maintain position against opposing big men, and you’re just not stealing a rebound from him regardless of your speed, pace and athleticism.
7. Steven Adams
If you take a quick look at Steven Adams, you may think he’s actually Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones or the Aquaman movie, as he looks way more like a fighter or rugby player than a basketball player actually. As a matter of fact, the New Zealand native didn’t even play basketball until he was a teenager, and he’s the younger brother of a very, very big family that features a lot of athletes, so you need he’s got in in his genes.
6. Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside sits at 264 pounds and the seven-footer has become one of the most dominant top-tier centers ever since coming back from overseas to lock the paint for Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat. His strength makes him a prime defender while his length provides him an elite shot-blocking ability, although his proneness to get injured is a major question mark over him
5. Marcin Gortat
We don’t call Marcin Gortat “The Polish Hammer” out of mere grace, as the 33-year-old always seems like he’s ready to fight everybody in the bar if given the opportunity. As a matter of fact, the Polish center used to be a boxer, so he’s definitely not the want you’d want to try and mess with him, as you’re very likely to be sent immediately to the ICU like Nikola Mirotic after the Bobby Portis incident.
4. James Johnson
Despite his size, James Johnson has to be ranked really high on this list, as he’s proven to be a very strong player with his ability to out hustle and even maintain position against bigger men, thriving the most as a power forward despite his lack of range. As a matter of fact, he’s got a second-degree black belt in MMA since he was 18 years old, also holding a 22-0 record in kickboxing.
3. LeBron James
LeBron James weights 249 despite being just 6’8, and you know most of that is just pure muscle. The King has always been a major gym freak and he doesn’t take any days off, not even during the offseason, and he credits that kind of discipline for his durability and longevity. When LeBron drives to the lane on the open court, he’s pretty much a full steam train coming right at you, so you better get the hell out of the way.
2. Dwight Howard
He may not have much post moves or strong, lasting relationships, but what Dwight Howard does have is muscle. The Superman is ripped and he’s got elbows the size of basketballs, and if it wasn’t for his softness, nobody would even dare to try and score over him. Once known as the second coming of Shaquille O’Neal, this physical specimen looked poised for stardom, but sadly for him, he doesn’t have that kind of mental strength.
1. DeMarcus Cousins
And the strongest active player in the Association right now has to be DeMarcus Cousins, as nobody’s going to get anything out of his hands and when he decides to play defense, he’s just a brick wall below the rim that you’re not going to get past. Cousins seems more of a linebacker than a basketball player, and when he finally achieves the mental strength that’s long time been demanded out of him, he’d might as well become the best big man in the Association.