We all know about those stars who carry their teams on a daily basis. I’ sure everyone recognizes those players who average almost 30 a night while leading their teams to wins. Guys like LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Steph Curry are just a short list of guys who always have the NBA’s spotlight.
But what about those who are more behind the sconces? After all, what superstar has ever won a title without a handy second star, to back them up? These are guys who are their Superstars biggest asset, these are the Top 10 Sidekicks In The NBA:
10. Amar’e Stoudemire
No rings, no MVPs, and a career often sidelined by injuries, Amar’e Stoudemire’s career has been no pony ride. During his prime years with the Phoenix Suns, he and Steve Nash led the team to arguably the best moments in its franchise. Nash was the star of the show and is widely regretted today as a top 10 Point Guard of All-Time.
But without Amar’e, the Suns wouldn’t have been nearly a relevant. During his years in Phoenix, Stoudemire averaged about 20 points per game and made 5 trips to the Western Conference Finals.
9. Pau Gasol
We all know about Shaq and Kobe, and how they dominated the NBA for so many years. In that situation though, Kobe and Shaq were more of an equal force, their rankings over each other can be interchangeable. Neither of them were really “side-kicks” to the other. That being said, Kobe did end up getting his side-kick, it just wasn’t Shaq. It was Pau Gasol. Pau wasn’t on the same level as Bryant or Shaq, but it’s because of Pau that Kobe was able to win two more rings. He was the steady had in the paint and a smooth finisher around the rim.
Kobe and Pau had something special, and that relationship is what kept the Lakers relevant after the post-shaw era.
8. Charles Oakley
Remember the Knicks’ glory days? There was Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Larry Johnson. And then there was Charles Oakley. The knit and grit type of guy, who put his heart on the court every single night. Although he never won a championship, The Knicks were always relevant during his tenure, and he and Ewing led the Knicks to the Finals in 1994.
Together, they were a force to be reckoned with. It is true that Oakley was the type of guy who could never be a team’s first option. But with Ewing, they matched up pretty well.
7. Joe Dumars
When the “Bad Boy” Pistons won the NBA Finals in 1990, Joe Dumars was averaging 17.8 points for the season. When you add that in addition to his insane defensive efforts, and you’ve got one insanely good player.
With Isiah Thomas there and even Dennis Rodman, it’s fair to say that Dumars wasn’t the main star. But without him, the “Bad Boys” would have just been, well, bad.
6. Tony Parker
Tim Duncan is probably the greatest Power Forward to ever play the game. But when you think about the legacy of TD and the Spurs, you usually don’t think about the 6-2, 185-pound point guard from Belgium. Tony Parker was always a vital part of the Spurs success.
The 6-time All-Star was the type of player that was perfect for the Spurs; a team oriented, no-nonsense type of guy. He didn’t care to be the star, he just wanted to win.
5. Dwyane Wade
LeBron James is a lucky guy. He’s the only guy who has the pleasure of having played with TWO prime-time sidekicks. Dwayne Wade though, was different. He had already proven himself, he had already shown us that he was more than capable of leading the charge.
Once LeBron James came to Miami though, he gladly took a back seat. Safe to say that everything worked out okay, as Wade is a three-time champion, 12-time All-Star, and widely recognized as a top 5 shooting guard to ever play the game.
4. Kevin McHale
Larry Bird was the King of the Celtics for quite a large amount of time. During that time though, it was McHale who had his back. McHale didn’t mind being second fiddle, he didn’t mind not being the center of attention. He was just fine doing his part and making money in the process.
McHale brought a mix of talent and all around game to a Celtics dynasty that would dominate the East for years. At times, it was McHale who steadied the Celtics during the most important time.
3. John Stockton
Stockton and Malone, to this day, remain as one of the greatest duos of All-Time. The only problem is that neither won a championship. Nonetheless, the two torched the league for years. Karl Malone, being the big star, often took most of the spotlight and control of the team. Stockton had no choice but to ride second fiddle. What made this so different though, is that the two had a bond that was bigger than basketball.
They were friends, and it didn’t matter who took the spotlight. Malone and Stockton made each other great, and even Stockton himself will admit that.
2. Clyde Drexler
After his Blazer days, Clyde Drexler formed a formidable duo in Houston with the dream himself, Hakeem Olajuwon. While Hakeem and the Rockets won the chip the year before Drexler joined, nobody can deny the chemistry these two displayed.
To win a championship with so little time spent together speaks volumes to just how willing and able Drexler and Olajuwon were able to adapt.
1. Scottie Pippen
Nobody is surprised when someone puts Scottie Pippen on their top 50 of All-Time list. For someone who played second fiddle for most of his career, that’s a pretty big time achievement. Michael Jordan obviously took the reigns here.
Pippen though, was the perfect match for MJ. He stepped up when he needed to, he stepped back when it was required. Pippen was the thunder behind Michael Jordan’s lightning, the greatest sidekick of All-Time.