No matter the sport or discipline, speed is absolutely essential in modern day professional sport.
Basketball is absolutely no different in that regard and modern day NBA superstars are expected to not only understand the inner workings of the game, but they need to have pace in abundance, in order to physically assert themselves over their opponents.
Whilst the relative merits of speed within the debate about skill importance in basketball could be argued vociferously, there is no escaping the fact that the NBA has become a far more physical enterprise and the need for speed is real.
Such is the global appeal of basketball and specifically the NBA, that every move made by each team and player is highly scrutinised, especially in the modern day era that is plagued by social media. Sports betting sites have also jumped on board with the notable increase in NBA popularity in recent years and with so many different options to choose from, punters have a real choice to make when it comes to finding the best NBA betting sites.
Over the generations, the NBA has been blessed with players who offer their own unique set of skills and having a speedster in any team can be a huge differential.
Here are some of the fastest runners to have ever plied their trade in the NBA:
Russell Westbrook (Washington Wizards)
When it comes to speed, Russell Westbrook has always been a force to be reckoned with. Known for his explosive athleticism, Westbrook possesses a remarkable ability to sprint down the court with lightning speed. His quickness allows him to blow past defenders, attack the rim, and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates, making him one of the most marketable performers in the NBA in recent times.
De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings)
When it comes to drawing parallels from other sports, the trend in the NBA tends to be that the younger players are more mobile around the court and that is epitomised by De’Aaron Fox, the point guard who has taken the league by storm with his incredible speed. With lightning-quick first steps and effortless acceleration, Fox has the ability to leave opponents trailing in his wake. His speed enables him to navigate through defences, penetrate the lane, and finish at the rim with finesse.
John Wall (Houston Rockets)
John Wall’s speed has been a defining characteristic of his game throughout his career. Despite battling injuries in recent years, Wall remains one of the fastest players in the NBA. His exceptional quickness and acceleration make him a constant threat in transition, allowing him to outrun defenders and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Derrick Rose (New York Knicks):
Derrick Rose burst onto the scene as a young prodigy, showcasing an incredible combination of speed, agility, and athleticism. Although he has also faced several setbacks due to injuries, Rose’s speed has remained a significant asset in his game. His ability to change gears and blow past defenders in the blink of an eye has made him a formidable force on the court.
Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies):
Ja Morant’s electrifying speed has garnered attention since his arrival in the league, following a hugely successful college basketball career. As one of the most explosive young talents, Morant possesses remarkable agility and an uncanny ability to change direction at high speeds. His speed allows him to slice through defences, create opportunities for himself and his teammates, and finish with acrobatic layups.
It perhaps goes without saying that no player in the NBA is going to be slow, simply due to the very nature of professional sport. The high-octane action seen by fans week in, week out in the NBA is representative of the elite level every single NBA athlete is operating at and to be categorised as a quick player in the NBA, is a real statement.
As the sport of basketball continues to evolve and the growing opportunities surrounding the NBA bloom, some of the names mentioned above continue to blaze a trail as some of the fastest players to have ever graced the NBA.