The exciting world of professional basketball is dominated by the attention paid to the best players on the floor. But the influence of the sixth man is generally disregarded even if it is a crucial factor.
This hidden hero, who often comes off the bench, is the key to turning the tide of the game and altering its outcome.
Several players have left lasting marks on the NBA as sixth men over its illustrious history. Here we honor some of the greatest sixth men in NBA annals, players who changed the face of the bench in their own unique ways.
4. Jason Terry
Tenacious and fiercely competitive, Jason Terry exemplified the role of a sixth man. He had a long and distinguished career, during which he played for numerous different teams, the most notable of which was the Dallas Mavericks. Terry’s timely scoring and tireless work ethic were major factors in the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA title. Off the court, people looked up to him for his leadership, and on it, he was revered for his three-point shooting.
3. Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale was an offensive powerhouse for the Boston Celtics and one of the team’s renowned “Big Three” along with Larry Bird and Robert Parish. His devastating post-game and ability to score from everywhere on the court made him an invaluable reserve. After helping the Celtics win three NBA titles, McHale was widely considered to be the best sixth man in basketball history.
2. Manu Ginobili
Argentina’s Manu Ginobili was an integral cog in the San Antonio Spurs’ championship machine. Ginobili’s ability to play many positions and his intense love for the game made him a valuable reserve. He was an integral part of the Spurs’ run to four NBA titles, and their success was largely due to his flamboyant play and clutch heroics. Ginobili was perhaps the most famous sixth man in NBA history due to his altruism and ability to perform well under duress.
1. Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford, often known as “J Crossover,” is still a major player in the world of sixth men. Crawford was a game-changing presence on the court because of his remarkable ball-handling and scoring abilities. Crawford had a stellar 20-year NBA career, during which he played for many different teams. He was a fan favorite at each stop because of his ability to single-handedly alter the course of games. He is the epitome of a great sixth man, having been named NBA Sixth Man of the Year three times (2010, 2014, and 2016).