Choose one player...
I wanted to make the most of this very very very quiet time of year by talking about underrated players from the past. I think every bball junky has at least one role player he loves and estimates for what he brings on the floor every night.
My choice would be : Charles Bo Outlaw 6.8 215 pf/c from houston
I always loved this player. Arrived in the laegue as a "nobody" in February 1994 through two 10-day contracts with the Los Angeles Clippers. And then played his better years with the magic as an energy defensive tough role player.
Hustle guy with great athletic abilities. Hard on the board (top off rebounder), tough in D, able to guard sf pf and even centers. Good help D (great bball IQ in D), spectacular shot blocker, some nasty dunks at times, few TO (and fools compared to his role and energy), knew his role and didn't try to do what he couldn't and what he shouldn't (shoot 57% in his career), very easy coachable humble man, played almost every year in summer leagues even as a veteran, 14 years in the league from nowhere, durable, motor, 83 games in one season (2001/2002).
.... and what a look with those glasses and lonnnnnnnng arms.
What is yours ? Pick one player (role player, not an HoF)...
yo junkyardkrypt , i choose jerome junkyarddog williams
that was my second choice ;) another player I loved...
for a second I thought you said Jayson Williams (its late here, not really paying attention). Dude was a beast before he broke his leg and had a minor legal issue. Probably krypt related
Steve Kerr- A true shooter never loses confidence in his shot, reguardless of his role on the team. Whether a star in college or role player in the NBA, he shot the ball well.
mine is Chris Gatling
and in todays game for me is Drew Gooden and Nick Collison
I never managed to understand or follow gatling's career... too much teams too much trades (there is some gatling in gooden)
Collison is a good choice. Smart effective player. Kansas big men lineage (Lafrentz, Pollard, Gooden, Manning, Aldrich...)
Charles Oakley and Anthony mason would split my vote
He has a high IQ!
'Big Shot' Robert Horry would be my pick - this guy got 7 rings!
94-95 with Hakeem
2000-2002 with Shaq and Kobe
2005 & 2007 with TD
Although he never averaged more than 12 ppg in a season he was an big part of most of these title teams.
Plus he stepped up big and made the tough shots in the big games.
My vote has to go to Bruce Bowen.
He was a smart, tough-nosed defender with a motor and he brought hustle and defense to every team that he played for. Fans will grow to love you as long as you're giving it your all on the court, and Bowen was no exception.
Sometimes when I look at some of the top no defense guys in the league (You know who you are) I remember this quote from Bowen himself.
" Defense is a little bit of talent and a lot of work; being able to take on the challenge of going up against the top guys, even when you didn't win that battle. Being able to come back the next day and try again—I think that's the most important thing."
Oh, and he was a ninja too.
the ultimate 3 and D guy! Never was a flashy defender, cheating for steals. Just shut guys down any means necessary
On a team with H of F platers, DJ, Bird, Mchale and Parish, he played tough D and was the finals MVP
Doug Christie. Ultimate glue guy for that insanely good and unselfish kings team led by c-webb and peja back in 2002-2003.
Kenny Smith. Had the game in the 95 finals for the Rockets where he was unconscious from 3, hitting 7. Held the record for most 3's in an NBA finals until Jesus Shuttlesworth broke it in 2010. Great college player at UNC earning all-american honors in 1987.
All time would beThurl Bailey, he may not necessarily be a role player but after Karl Malone came to the jazz, he was still an excellent contributor off the bench, but right now it's probably JR Smith or Luc Mbah A Moute
Ron Harper. For the first 8 years of his career he put up All-Star numbers while mired in mediocrity with teams like the 80s Cavs and the 90s Clippers. When he joined the Bulls in 1995 he reinvented himself. He became the ultimate team player focusing on defense, creating for others and clutch shooting. In the finals seven years of his career he would win 5 NBA championships.
Derreck Fisher was outstanding behind Kobe and Shaq during clutch time.
JR Smith gets a lot of hate but he's streaky, and if he regains consistency then his streakyness may come in handy.
Ron Artest (MWP) is mostly known for is defense but he's also a great perimeter shooter.
Kenny Smith in Clutch time
Steve Kerr who was an amazing shooter
Charles Barkley who is of course in the HOF (or will be) but is not as touted as a top power forward as much as some others.
Larry Sanders- When he's the center of attention, give the center some attention.
Scottie Pippin, Michael Jordan's shadow who really had a very big role and is understated.
Matt Barnes, you know this guy is pretty good when he wants to be :p.
I have to go with Otis Thorpe. He was an NBA athlete with a tremendously balanced game. There were a couple years he had in Sacramento where he was a 20/10 center on a playoff team and still wasn't an All-Star.
His role is scoring and he's added a lot to his repertoire the last few years. Dollar for dollar, excluding rookie cap guys, the best deal in the NBA. He gets no love from the refs, but the guy can take over games and is fun to watch.
Nick Collison and Charles Oakley...both always are up to the challenge to do the dirty work for their respective teams ....
From the past I would have to say Dennis Rodman. His talent may have been more than a role player, but his game for the pistons and the Bulls was that of a role player.
From today's game, this guy is one of my top 10 favorite players ever... Matt Barnes, I love his toughness and his hustle. In high school I actually modeled my game after Matt Barnes when we got two better players who were both great guards and I could no longer be Scottie Pippen and run the offense.. lol
i'm happy he finally got some stability with a 3 year contract this off season, the man has been getting 1 or 2 year deals his whole career after being a great role player.
Ben Wallace a true workhorse on the boards and solid defense
Im gonna go with Antonio and Dale Davis back on the 90s Pacers. They were true glue guys doing much of the dirty work grabbing rebounds, blocking shots and hustling after loose balls. I loved the toughness they would bring to the court committing hard fouls on the big men of the Knicks during the latter part of the rivalry.
As a young kid other than being a huge Jordan fan, the other basketball I would most enjoy to watch were the Knicks Pacers series, these guys were a big part of that.
Today my favorite glue guy is Andrei Kirilenko. Being a shell of his former self and very injury prone, he is still a very good perimeter defender with his length. He also stuffs the stat sheet like no other.
The consummate professional. A lockdown defender in his Houston years (and a very scrappy/annoying defender now) that was fearless when it came to shooting the corner three. At one point, he was the only guy in the L that would actually make Kobe work (when he was uber unstoppable).
He's willing to guard any position, from the 1 to the 5 (in his HOU days against weak offensive centers i.e. Camby). He took any role he had to in order for the team to have an advantage. Whether it was starting at the 3, starting at the 4, guarding the best player on the other team for 40 minutes a night, coming off the bench as a 6th man, or not playing 5-10 night straight then coming in ready to hit big shots and defend.
Super humble and a high IQ player. Type of guy you hate to play against but would love to have on your team.
Matt Geiger was always my favorite. Big bruiser for the Sixers. I always kind of thought of him as more of AI's body guard hahahaha