Shawn Bradley, from Maverick to world’s tallest cowboy

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Shaun Bradley is a unique player in NBA history.

At 7’6” he was one of the tallest players the league has ever seen, at 235 pounds (officially) he was one of the skinniest. He was the No. 2 overall pick (behind Chris Webber) but never developed into what scouts had hoped, though he was not as bad as some remember. As you might expect he racked up a lot of blocks (2,119) during his dozen years in the league, and he pitched in an average of 8.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He was in the end an average to slightly above average center at his peak but an attraction everywhere he went.

He spent the last eight-and-a-half years of his career in Dallas, so the college hoops site Lost Lettermen caught up with him to talk about his feelings about seeing his old team in the finals.

But what was caught our eye was what Bradley is doing now, living in Salt Lake City (he went to BYU).

For starters, he’s a part-time cowboy as the owner of a ranch with 350 cattle on it. Of course, it’s not easy finding a horse that can carry one of the tallest players in NBA history.

“Bless the horse’s heart, the biggest challenge is finding a saddle that’ll fit and I had a guy help me make a saddle,” Bradley said. “So we’ve got a saddle and a 16-hand horse is the smallest I can even consider.”

If asked, cowboy may have been the last thing I would have guessed. Right after circus clown and entomologist. But there you go.

Read the piece, Bradley is donating time to charity and has political aspirations. They probably both take up more time than being a cowboy in his life.

But if you can stop trying to picture Bradley on a horse, you are a better man than I — I’m still stuck on that image.