Skip to main content

Woolridge climbs TWICE over Mt.Bol (1989)

When Michael Jordan first came to the Chicago it was Bulls power forward Orlando Woolridge who has already established him as one of the premier dunkers in the League as well as one of the major rising stars. When they eventually joined forces they became the most dangerous high-flying duet in the Game.

A couple of seasons later Woolridge was 'grounded' from the ‘Chicago Air Force’ - Bulls GM Jerry Krause traded him to subpar New Jersey Nets. There, after only 19 games in his second season with Nets (1987-88), he would again be ‘grounded’ because of the problem with the drug abuse.

After he rehabilitated Woolridge received the call from the Lakers GM Jerry West. He soon found his niche in the sunny Los Angeles, providing steady veteran leadership as the backup power forward for the legitimate contender. This team would reach NBA finals in 1989 and become the Western Conference Champion in 1990.

During the same two-season period Sudanese-born 7'7' center Manute Bol found a niche with the Golden State Warriors, playing a total of 155 games for Don Nelson's improving squad, blocking as many as 583 shots in the two seasons combined.

The NBA's leading shot-blocker for the 1988-89 season (total of 345; an average of 3.4 per game) soon became the major defensive catalyst for the Warriors high-octane offense, which featured the lefty All-Star forward Chris Mullin.

It's no secret that ever since the introduction of the slam dunk as effective offensive tool best NBA dunkers always saw a tremendous opportunity to prove themselves, and get their team more than two points, by dunking over the leading shot-blocker in the League. Remember, for instance, Vince Carter's nasty slam over Mt.Mutombo?

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The same was with Woolridge and Bol. Woolridge saw an opening and bravely took his chance to dunk over Bol, a player he knew well from the Atlantic Division encounters between Nets and Bullets, during previous seasons.

Warriors, at the time, used trapping defense quite a lot, which resulted in a very thin defensive first line. This allowed Woolridge to accelerate from the three-point line, take the widest possible first step and leap over the outstretched arms of 7'7' Bol, who had five swats that night in Forum! At first Lakers, #0 went for a thundering slam, and second time down the floor he settled down with a nice lay-up.

RELATED VIDEO LINK Orlando Woolridge Dunks on Manute Bol, Then Lays It Over Him Again (1989)

A couple of seasons later, in 1990-91, Woolridge would star for Denver Nuggets and become one of the leading NBA scorers with an average of 25.1 points per game. At the same time, Bol would bring his great shot-blocking ability to Philadelphia, starring in the limited role for the memorable 76ers squad led by his friend, Charles Barkley.

Unfortunately, both of these basketball greats have already left us - Bol died on June 19th, 2010, and Woolridge on May 31st, 2012.

Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is BN contributor and the author of the book ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ which can be found here.

Jeanie Buss admits missing Kobe Bryant: Honestly, he was the greatest Laker ever

Jeanie Buss admits missing Kobe Bryant: "Honestly, he was the greatest Laker ever"

As rumors swirl about Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving suiting up for the L.A. Lakers, owner Jeanie Buss remembers Kobe Bryant's loyalty to the team.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony shares the Notorious B.I.G. rap verse that he lives by

Carmelo Anthony crawled his way out of the rough Baltimore streets. He knows that not everyone was as fortunate as him.

Kyrie Irving is to blame for the Brooklyn Nets' collapse
Play

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant proved why they're not leaders

No matter how you feel about Durant as a person, there's one thing no one can deny, and that's his love for the game of basketball -- something Kyrie Irving was never able to match.

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan

A business mogul breaks down Michael Jordan's earnings per shoe from Nike

5% seems measly, but once you get into the numbers, it's the secret behind the most successful shoe deal in sports history.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, guard Stephen Curry and forward Kevin Durant

Reports say Warriors superstars are willing to welcome Kevin Durant back to Golden State

But Warriors management isn't willing to cross the bridge for Kevin Durant again.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter Freedom attacks NBA, Adam Silver once again — “One of the most hypocritical organization and commissioner out there”

The former Boston Celtic center thinks the NBA is not doing enough to help detained WNBA star Brittney Griner.

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard and forward LeBron James

”He’s always watching the stat sheets” — Dwight Howard perfectly sums up LeBron James' brilliance on the court

Based on his experience, Dwight Howard said that he admires how strategic every move LeBron James makes is.