Not just anyone can block a shot, it requires a degree of skill… well that or being 7’7” and having long spindly arms. Obviously I am talking about Manute Bol, who died today at the age of 47 of kidney failure and complications of Steven-Johnson Syndrome.
Bol was a freak of nature when he was drafted by the Washington Bullets in the second round of the 1985 NBA Draft. He looked like a Stretch Armstrong doll stretched to its limits, but with his height came the ability to block shots. He actually set the NBA record for blocks by a rookie, he is second behind Mark Eaton in blocks per game and he is 14th overall in career-blocked shots. On a side note, he is the only NBA player that has more blocked shots then points in career. He is also widely known for his charity and efforts to rebuild his war-torn nation of Sudan, a real humanitarian that cared about his countrymen and honestly this is how he should be remembered.
With his death comes the sudden dirge of eBay Toads who hope to cash in on the death of an athlete, though you can still find many of his autographs and even his 1986 Fleer rookie card for under $20 many of his cards have suddenly garnered bids where they sat dormant just 24 hours ago. Oddly enough Panini recently added him to the checklist in the 2009-10 Panini Rookies & Stars set, not someone you would expect to see in a current release.