Shawn Bradley wrestles with life at 7’6″ in a wheelchair

This story was originally published on Jan. 12, 2022. It was included in a year-end list of SI’s best stories of 2022.

In a suite high above the court in Dallas, Shawn Bradley peered down on a past life. Under the spotlight below, gangly giants—Kristaps Porziņģis, Boban Marjanović, Bol Bol—galloped and grinded as their 7’6” forebear watched, still and silent. As the 7’2” Bol used his long arms to swat a shot, Bradley’s wife, Carrie, fetched him popcorn and nestled a small Styrofoam bowlful onto his napkin-covered stomach. The 7’4” Marjanović sprinted back on defense and gulped down air; Bradley started to feel faint and reclined his electric wheelchair to raise his blood pressure. The 7’3” Porziņģis powered home a two-handed dunk; Bradley enveloped a can of Dr Pepper in his claw-like hands and sipped carefully.


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