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The Least Willing Passers In NBA History

OK, let’s be fair. Just because NBA players don’t pass doesn’t mean they automatically qualify as one of the worst passers in NBA history, at least usually. Let’s go with the least willing passers in NBA history. It’s important to consider the context of their playing style and their role on their respective teams. The players we’re about to rank weren’t necessarily “ball hogs” but were typically big men whose primary focus was on defense and rebounding, rather than playmaking. Here are some of the least willing passers in the league, ranked by assists per 48 minutes.

1. Joel Anthony (2011-12) and Manute Bol (1986-87) – 0.3 assists per 48 minutes

Tied for the least willing passers are Joel Anthony during his time with the Miami Heat and Manute Bol with the Washington Bullets. With an average of 0.3 assists per 48 minutes, both players were known more for their defensive presence—Anthony for his shot-blocking and Bol for his imposing height and shot-altering ability.

2. Bismack Biyombo (2013-14), Serge Ibaka (2009-10), Dikembe Mutombo (2004-05), Felton Spencer (1995-96), Samuel Dalembert (2008-09), Joel Anthony (2009-10), and Jim McIlvaine (1995-96) – 0.4 assists per 48 minutes

There is a seven-way tie for the second spot. Each of these players has averaged 0.4 assists per 48 minutes during the specified seasons. Biyombo, Ibaka, and Mutombo are particularly noteworthy for their roles as defensive anchors. Their primary contributions came from blocking shots and grabbing rebounds, with less emphasis on facilitating the offense. Similarly, Spencer, Dalembert, Anthony in a different season, and McIlvaine fulfilled roles that required less passing and more focus on defense.

3. DeAndre Jordan (2011-12) – 0.5 assists per 48 minutes

Finally, DeAndre Jordan, a bit more generous than his peers but still ranking low in terms of assists, rounds out the list with 0.5 assists per 48 minutes. Jordan, while one of the more effective defensive centers in the league, especially during his prime, was not known for his passing ability.

It’s essential to understand that assists per 48 minutes is not the sole indicator of a player’s willingness to pass. The nature of a player’s role, team dynamics, and the era in which they played are significant factors. For example, big men traditionally have fewer assists, and this list reflects that trend. Additionally, most of these players thrived in defensive roles, often in systems that did not require them to handle the ball and create plays.

The game of basketball is multi-faceted, and while assists are a crucial part of the game, they are not the sole measure of a player’s worth or contribution to their team. Each player on this list was valuable in their own right and played a crucial role in their team’s success during their respective seasons.

Listicled Staff
Listicled Staff
Listicled staff covers everything from sports to entertainment, politics to parenting, and everything in-between.

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