When the media attempts to cover/shine light on an NBA team, we often find that they focus on a team’s star players. While this is can be understandable and appealing to the eye of a good story, we sometimes lose sight of the players who put in work behind the scenes. Role players can be quite underrated in the NBA, but should never be overlooked. We see this time and time again, with role players stepping up in the big moments, and when a team truly needs them.
So who are the best role players in NBA history?
Robert Horry was the best role player of his generation. Horry’s incredible 7-0 finals record proved that he was every team’s dream rotation player. Drafted in 1992, Horry quickly proved that he was not an ordinary rotation player by making the 1992-93 All-Rookie team. This honor was the first of many in Robert Horrys Historic career.
Drafted by the Houston Rockets, Horry was quick to get to work as he was a significant contributor to a team that won back to back NBA championships, averaging double figures in points, both years. Horry then left Houston just a few years later. After a brief stint in Phoenix, Horry took his talents to Los Angeles, where his legacy would continue to luxuriate. Horry prospered on a young team that was struggling to find its place in a Jordan dominated league. He was playing thirty plus minutes a game while taking the most shots of his career. However, as a young Kobe and Shaq duo started to trample through the league, Horry’s shots decreased, but his impact on the court did not. Robert quickly embraced his new role on the team and decided it was best to take a backseat throughout the duration of the NBA regular season. However, throughout the Los Angeles magical three peat, Horry hit clutch shot after clutch shot, proving his worth to a super team in the making.
After picking up three rings in L.A., Horry saw the crumbling of the Laker empire and got out before it was too late. His chosen destination, the San Antonio Spurs. Innovated with winning throughout his career, choosing to travel to San Antonio and play under Coach Popovich was the best possible move for Horry’s career. With Duncan just hitting his prime, San Antonio was destined for championships to come, and come they did. In just his second year with the Spurs, they won the 2005 NBA championship behind Robert Horry’s clutch series winning three. However, Horry’s age was starting to catch up with him and he was no longer able to contribute what he once could to a championship team. Horry did pick up another championship with the Spurs in 2007 but averaged just 4.3 points per game. After just one more season, Horry decided it was time to hang up the jersey, with sixteen years of NBA experience under his belt.
Robert Horry’s seven NBA Championships solidified his legacy and proved his name should be mentioned when discussing the most clutch players to ever step foot on the hardwood. However, Horry never earned any all-star appearances and averaged over 10.0 points per game just once throughout his career. So Although some people may make the argument that Horry should be included in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and I do agree that basketball has the worst hall of fame out of the four major sports, Horry simply was not consistent enough throughout his entire career to be considered for this prestigious honor. Even though, according to Michael Jordan’s logic, Robert Horry is one of the greatest players in NBA history.