This is an extension on an earlier fan-post written by me, except that this one will focus on the best defenders. For the Nuggets All-Time Defensive team, I will go to a slightly different format; instead of making five categories (PG, SG, SF, PF, C), and putting one player at each position, I will make just three categories (G, F, C, much like the NBA All-Defense team does it), and put two at guard, two at forward, and one at center. So let it begin!
At guard, I would put Chauncey Billups and T.R. Dunn. Dunn was a solid defender, and was a mainstay of the enigmatic Nuggets teams of the 1980's. He also made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times. T.R. Dunn was a great guy to have on those teams; although he couldn't score very well, he was a ferocious rebounder for his size (6'4"), and, in his prime, averaged around two steals per game. Chauncey Billups is probably a more controversial pick, as Fat Lever and even Bill Hanzlik could make a call for this spot. However, Billups has made a reputation as a tenacious defender who rarely fouled too much, not to mention the role he played in the change from the 2007-08 season to the 2008-09 season (interesting sidenote: the defensive rating, which is points allowed per 100 possessions, did not change much between the aforementioned seasons).
At forward, I'd put down Bobby Jones and Kenyon Martin. Both were athletic 6'9" guys who could defend every position if needed. Jones' hustle and determination was, and has been, pretty much unmatched, not to mention his leadership qualities that really made him a great guy on and off the court. Bobby also made the NBA All-Defensive an incredible eight times, albeit with different teams, and was a fun guy to watch. Kenyon Martin is a scary person to be matched up against, as he can withstand post-ups against bigger guys, but also has the quickness to keep up with guards who try in vain to drive past him. However, unlike Jones, K-Mart has gotten into trouble numerous times, both for arguing with his coach and people in the stands. Even so, both guys really deserve to be on this team.
At center, it should be Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo. Mutombo was an amazing shot blocker, yet also very mobile for a 7'1" center. He was one of the few guys who could at least keep Shaq in check, and he has four Defensive Player of the Year awards to his credit. He could rebound well, and his heart for the game was extraordinary; name how many players played until they were nearly 43 years old (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played until he was 42 too, but he retired when he was about 10 months younger than Mutombo was).
Some of you suggested Bobby Jackson, but his impact (68 games) just isn't enough to get him on the team. He would be in the conversation, though, as would Julius Keye and Bill Hanzlik.
If you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.