The Bigman edition: Rudy Gobert VS Yao Ming & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar



In the second edition of 'Bigman' we explore the possibilities of who Rudy Gobert can develop towards, and why it would be good.

Rudy Gobert is tall. He has a huge arm-span. 7'2 and 7'6 respectively, actually. That combines to....a 9'7 standing reach. This means Rudy already has physical gifts most players can only dream of. So, who would be a good role model for Gobert to follow? Who would be the worst case scenario player that Gobert MIGHT become (COORBIN, STOP CORBING)? And who would be right in the middle, the player Gobert is most likely going to be like?

Rudy Gobert

Height: 7'2, Wingspan: 7'6, Weight: 220lbs, Standing reach: 9'7

My opinions

Best case: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Yao Ming
Worst case: Hasheem Thabeet
Probable case: Shawn Bradley

Best case scenario

For physical attributes, go to:

Player 1: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Height: 7'2, Wingspan: 7'5, Weight: 225lbs (Rookie), Standing reach: 9 feet (unsure of exact value)

This is a easy 'best case' to make. Kareem has similar physical gifts when compared to Gobert, and even a similar rookie weight. Even though it is ideal that Rudy bulk up, there is no reason to think that Gobert cannot improve on his hook shot, which is actually pretty good already (if you ever watch him play). If he can develop the deadly consistency of Kareem, he would be impossible to stop. Kareem was nearly impossible to stop with his 7'5 wingspan. Rudy has a even longer wingspan of 7'6. Do I even need to say more? The only thing Rudy will really need to work on after this is developing his mid-range shots, which as seem with Evans and Favors, this is entirely possible. Another interesting note is that Kareem also increased his weight as seasons past, ending up at 267lbs. My view is that Kareem would be the easier of the 2 'best case' for Rudy to model.

Player 2: Yao Ming

Height: 7'6, Wingspan: 7'5, Weight: 296lbs (Rookie), Standing reach: 9'6

Well, not to hard to see why I made this comparison, again. Yao is taller and heavier, but has a similar standing reach and wingspan when compared to Gobert. If Gobert decides to model Yao's game, it will be a lot harder as he will not only need to gain weight, but also start learning how to shoot consistent mid-range shots, which is a major weakness of Gobert. What made Yao so terribly fearsome was not only his size and ability to destroy opponents in the post, but also the threat he brought with his range. He could consistently knock down mid range shot (elbow shots, baseline shots, long 2s, you name it) and had a extremely high FT% (at one point, it was 94%). But the main reason of why I chose Yao Ming was because of how he developed. His FT% and game was pretty raw back in the CBA, but he gradually improved over time. He also bulked from 296-310 lbs, increasing his post proficiency. One thing that Yao was weak at though, was rebounding. However, Rudy is a much better rebounder. So if Rudy works hard enough, I think he can definitely become a Yao Ming type player, except lighter, with better rebounding and less shooting range.

Probable case

Shawn Bradley

Height: 7'6, Wingspan: 7'6, Weight: 248lb (Rookie), Standing reach: 10'2 (!)

If Rudy Gobert gets developed properly, he could become a player like Shawn Bradley. In fact, they both already have a similar game, which is very defensive minded. Even though Bradley is more physically gifted than Gobert, his game was not as consistent. Bradley was a inconsistent scorer and rebounder, but very consistent at blocking. Gobert is consistent in all those 3 categories. They have a similar starting weight, and Bradley also increased his weight as time passed, so again, it is definitely something Gobert will improve on. Due to Bradley's inconsistency, his offensive game did not really develop. This actually means Gobert could possibly become BETTER than Bradley, which is why i had the 'best case' players comparison.

Worst case

Hasheem Thabeet

Height: 7'2 (Rookie), Wingspan: 7'6, Weight: 267lbs, Standing reach: 9'5

Well...if Gobert is not developed properly (Corbin!), he could end up like Hasheem Thabeet. Improbable, but possible. Thabeet has similar gifts to Gobert, in fact, eerily similar (besides weight). But I am confident that Gobert will not end up like Thabeet, because 1) Thabeet only started playing basketball at 15YO! 2) Gobert played in the Pro A league (already has professional experience). As i said, improbable, but possible. If somehow Corbin screws up Gobert's development big-time, I do not doubt that this will happen. In my opinion, Thabeet became a bust because he failed to develop a offensive game, and was not really as good defensively as first thought (Gobert is already better defensively). I think it will be absolutely crucial for Gobert to focus on his offensive game more than anything else, at this point.


Well, in order for Gobert to suceed as a player my view is that not only does he need to develop properly, he also needs to drive to work hard. Those 'best cases' did not just become great players by slacking around.My view is that Gobert would most likely become a Shawn Bradley type player with a better offense (like Favor's offense).That's just my opinion,but wouldn't it be awesome if Gobert became the next Yao Ming or Kareem?

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.

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