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News » Posey tops list of NBA's best role players

Posey tops list of NBA's best role players

Posey tops list of NBA's best role players

Vox Populi

After your praise of Tayshaun Prince, maybe it's time for a top 10 role player list. And listing eight or so Spurs is a cop out. — Anthony Turnbow, Camas, WA

OK, but first it's necessary to define "role player." That's because guys whose job it is to shoot and score are also fulfilling their particular roles. So for the purposes of this endeavor, only those players whose primary duties involve off-the-ball activities — rebounding, defending and executing game plans — will be considered.

Friday's action

  • KG wins in return to Minnesota
  • Carter rallies Nets from 18 down
  • Rockets rally past Wizards in fourth
  • Sixers' Brand beats former team
  • Howard keys OT victory for Magic
  • Hawks get sloppy win over Bobcats
  • Kidd sparkles as Mavs mash Grizz
  • Bucks clobber short-handed Knicks
  • Mason, Spurs shoot down Jazz
  • Hornets, back in OKC, sting Thunder
  • Trail Blazers blow out Kings
  • Rose leads Bulls past Warriors
  • Kobe, Lakers cruise past Nuggets analysis

  • Rosen: Knicks sacrificing present
  • Hill: D'Antoni a difference maker
  • Rosen: Pistons' new personality
  • Galinsky: NBA power rankings


  • Celtics celebrate 17th title

9) Jared Jeffries can run and defend.

10) David Lee rebounds and hustles, but can neither shoot nor defend.

Honorable mention: Trevor Ariza, Nick Collison, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Craig Smith, Darius Songaila, Royal Ivey, Anthony Parker and the remains of Malik Rose.

Straight Shooting

Gary Payton has recently claimed that the Lakers would have beaten the Pistons in 2004 if Karl Malone hadn't been hurt during the championship series. Payton may very well be right, but he failed to mention how important his own stubbornness and selfishness were to the Lakers' downfall.

When Malone and Payton agreed to accept drastic pay cuts in order to play alongside Shaq and Kobe, many pundits forecast another Lakers title. I was even berated on the air for not agreeing with a radio interviewer that the Lakers would go undefeated!

What eventuated, however, was that Payton stoutly refused to change his game and accept the discipline mandated by the triangle. All he wanted to do was post-up, run low screen/rolls on the left side, and drive into the lane whenever the spirit moved him. On several occasions, his displeasure was such that he even threatened to abandon the team.

As for Malone, he never quite grasped the basics of the offense, especially those turn of events that moved him to the high post. To compensate for his confusion, Malone would simply shoot the ball whenever he could see the basket.

This is not to say that Malone's injury wasn't a critical development. Although his lateral movement was mostly a memory, the Mailman was still able to out-muscle and thoroughly intimidate Rasheed Wallace in the low post. With Malone down and out, Wallace used and abused his substitute, Luke Walton.

Still, even with Malone on the shelf, the Lakers' chances of beating the Pistons would have been much greater had Payton bought into the program.

Travels with Charley

There have been a multitude of tough players in the league, and Dave Cowens and Don Nelson are among them.

Here's Nelson's testimony: "When Cowens was a rookie, he introduced a game that he called Butting Heads. It was simple. Two guys would bang their heads together until one of them gave up. I could outbutt everybody except Cowens, and he was almost always the champion. After a while, the other guys didn't like to play too much, but sometimes me and Cowens forced them to."

Sounds like a good idea for another reality show. NBA hard-heads.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 21, 2008


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