The recent 16p/10r/6b/ performance by the Nuggets 7’2” forward Bol Bol again drew comparisons with his legendary father, 7’7” Sudanese-born center Manute Bol. Fully using his 7’9” wingspan Bol Bol went for a handful of boards and blocked shots, but mostly impressed everyone with his shooting range.
“He’s played very well. Let’s not forget, he’s still, in essence, a rookie. Let’s not put the expectations way up there. Let’s let him grow and develop. But he’s shown me that he has a tremendous amount of talent. He has things, as I’ve mentioned quite a bit, that I can’t teach as a coach. I can’t teach 7-foot-2, I can’t teach a 7-foot-9 wingspan, and I sure as hell can’t teach a really soft touch all the way out to the NBA 3-point line.”Mike Malone, Denver Post
But, what people around the league still forget when talking about Bol Bol’s virtues that his dad Manute was a good shooter in his own era – era of the superstar centers when he was not exactly supposed to shoot. Around the league, Manute was almost exclusively known as a defensive stopper who possessed a great shot-blocking ability, and he presented quite a feared defensive obstacle for any opposing team.
However, over his 10-year stint in the league, this Sudanese showman was able to connect on 43 out of the total 205 tries from long-distance, which accounts for 21.0% efficiency.
Not quite a number at first. But, what changes the perspective with this one are the games in which Bol went big from beyond the 3-point line, showcasing his most unique offensive asset.
The most known is the 76ers @ Suns showdown in Phoenix on March 3rd 1993 when Bol shot the lights out over his buddy Charles Barkley and the entire city of Phoenix. Bol went wild by hitting 6-12 triples!
But it wasn’t the only time that Manute went big from beyond the arc. Occasionally, he would do it when no one wasn’t expecting him to do it, especially during the clutch time of close games!
On November 15th, 1994, in his second to last game as a pro, Golden State Warriors back-up center lit up the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves by going 3-3 from beyond the arc! And this time around Manute did it in the clutch, significantly cutting down the T-wolves lead.
Coming in from the bench Bol collected 9 points, 6 boards, and 2 blocked shots in 29 minutes of play, but the Warriors did lose the game by two points (114-112).
What this 1980s and 1990s icon did not have, in comparison with his son, is an adequate handle, but it is still quite understandable for someone who is 7’7” tall not to be an adequate ball-handler. With his 7’2” intimidating presence in the lane, handle and three-point shooting ability Bol Bol adds quite an impressive array of skills in the mix of contending Denver Nuggets.