Left-handed people are said to have an edge in sports over right-handed people. While it is normal for them to face some obstacles sometimes, they enjoy a real advantage when they are already on the field. Some of the sports where the advantage of left-handed people is evident are softball and baseball, where left-handed hitters start off a few distance closer to the first base compared to hitters who are right-handed. Even in batting, left-handed players gain the upper hand since pitchers from the other side who are commonly right-handed are forced to throw the ball in ways that they are not used to. In the history of basketball, basketball enthusiasts have seen how excellent left-handed players are when it comes to surprising their opponents. They are able to outsmart their opponents because they dribble and shoot with their left, forcing an instant change in strategy among the players from the other side. Here is a list of the ten best left-handed basketball players of all time:
10. Bob Lanier
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Born on September 10, 1948, Bob Lanier is popular because of his size-22 sneakers. He is a retired American professional basketball player who represented the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons of the NBA during the 1970’s. A three-time Converse All-America selection, he was named Coach and Athlete Magazine and ECAC Player of the Year in 1970. During his five seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, the team won the division championship every year. When he retired in 1984, he was awarded the Oscar Robertson Leadership Award. Throughout his being an NBA player, he averaged 20.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He is one of the best left handed basket players in the history of NBA.
9. Gail Goodricha
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A retired American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Gail Goodrich rose to fame after he scored a then record of 42 points during the 1965 NCAA championship game vs. Michigan. He also played for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1971-1972 seasons, where the team won 33 games consecutively. Goodrich was the leading scorer of the Los Angeles Lakers at the time and was also acclaimed for leading UCLA to its first two National Championships in the 1960’s. In 1996, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He is one of the famous left handed basketball players who worked so hard just to contribute to the winnings of his teams.
8. Artis Gilmore
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Artis Gilmore was an American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) player who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 12, 2011. In 1970, he was the one who led the Dolphins to the NCAA Division I championship game where his team unfortunately got lost. In the history of NCAA Division I basketball, Gilmore remains to be the top player in rebounds per game where he was cited or included in the list of great left handed basketball players in the world. Throughout his career, he became an eleven-time All-Star and was recognized as an ABA Rookie of the Year and an ABA MVP.
7. Chris Mullin
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Born on July 30, 1963, Christopher Paul Mullin was the former general manager of the Golden State Warriors team of the NBA. During his time, he became a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. From 1985 to 2001, he played shooting guard and small forward in the NBA. He was also chosen as the seventh pick by the Golden State Warriors during the first round of the 1985 NBA Draft, the first American Olympic basketball team composed of professional players. This could be one of the left handed basketball players advantage because they can play well with their left hand.
6. Billy Cunningham
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Also known as Kangaroo Kid, William John “Billy” Cunningman joined the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1966. He also became famous for coaching the 76ers to the 1983 NBA Championship and for playing during the 1967 Sixers Championship Team. He also joined the Carolina Cougars in 1972 where he was named the ABA MVP. Throughout his career in the NBA and ABA, he scored a total of 16,310 points and grabbed 7.981 rebounds. Wonder no more why he was included among the famous left handed basketball players in the history of NBA. After retiring, he became the head coach of the 76ers and reached the 200, 300, and 400-win milestone faster than any coach in the history of basketball.
5. Nathaniel Archibald
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A retired American professional basketball player, Archibald played in the Kansas City Kings and Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 14 years. During his time, he was known for being a great passer and shooter. He was also among the most admired when it comes to speed and shiftiness in the court, which made it difficult for his opponents to guard him when playing which is one of the recognized left handed basketball players advantage. In 1991, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame because of his notable achievement in the field.
4. Dave Cowens
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A retired American basketball player, Dave Cowens served as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons and is currently a special assistant to Joe Dumars, the president of basketball operations of Pistons. He played the center in the NBA and was also selected as the fourth overall pick by the Boston Celtics during the 1970 NBA Draft after he was recommended by former Celtics center Bill Russell. Throughout his career, he averaged 17 points and 15 rebounds per game despite that he is a left handed basketball player. He was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
3. David Robinson
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Also known as “The Admiral” of the NBA, David Maurice Robinson is a retired American NBA basketball player who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, along with Michael Jordan and three others. He was the one who led the Spurs to the greatest single season turnaround in the history of NBA and was also named among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history. Throughout his career, he averaged 21.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He truly deserves to be part of this list of great left handed basketball players in NBA.
2. Willis Reed
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Willis Reed, Jr. was born on July 25, 1942 and was one of the most outstanding players of the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982 and was voted among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1997 and one of the famous left handed basketball players in the history. As a player, he averaged 18.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Following his retirement, he served as assistant and head coach with several teams, including the New Jersey Nets.
1. Bill Russell
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Bill Russell used to play center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A retired American professional basketball player, he became a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star. He used to be considered as the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty because of his notable achievements in basketball. He won eleven NBA championships throughout his 13-year basketball career and currently holds the record for the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. He is currently a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and is one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Moreover, one of the 10 best left handed basketball players in the world.