Manute Bol died on Saturday from kidney trouble coupled with a painful skin disease at the very young age of 47. I meant to get a post up about one of my favorite Warriros players growing up when I heard that he passed away, but time just didn’t allow that to happen over the weekend. He played three of his ten seasons for the Dubs, and I’ll always remember the first time I saw Manute play live in Oakland. My uncle took me to a game, and the 7 foot 7 toothpick was the guy that easily caught my 8 year old attention span. Just watching the guy run up and down the court was amazing. I remember his legs reminding me of stilts, and had a hard time figuring out how they supported him. From that point on, I always followed him on the court when watching them play, whether he was bombing an ill-advised three or if he was just roaming along the paint waiting for someone to try to throw up a shot that he could swat into the fifth row. I will always be grateful to him for what he brought to the Warriors, as he was there during the Run TMC days, and that was truly our last golden era in Bay Area basketball.
He was a selfless man on and off the court, and was known rightfully for his shot blocking abilities. Manute was the only player ever to block more shots (3.3) than score points (2.6), which shouldn’t come as a surprise from the NBA’s tallest player ever. Manute has the most blocks per 48 minutes (8.6), and also ranks fourteenth on the all-time block list with 2,086 for his career.
Bol was even more of a man off the court as he helped his home country (Sudan) more than anyone ever had. He donated about $6 million of his earnings to help his impoverished home country. It’s too bad that being on those missions may have been what lead to some of his health problems, but we know that he would be the first to say it was well worth it… His countless missions to the Sudan to helped inspire the unispired, and has shown people that sometimes guys do spend their money on a worthwhile cause! His legacy will live on through the work he did off the court.
Manute was my team logo for fantasy last season, so I guess I’ll have to keep that for another year as a tribute to him, and his greatness as a person!