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When you hear the term "role player" who do you think of?  Steve Kerr? Robert Horry? Horace Grant? Everyone has a different definition of what it truly means to be a role player.  In my opinion it is someone who is not good enough to carry a team every night, but is still essential to the teams success. The common misconception is that being a role player is a bad thing, when in reality they are just as important as superstars.

What makes the Celtics so good is that their team is filled with role players, and very good ones at that. Pierce and Rondo are pretty much the only players that can carry a team night in and night out anymore. However, the rest of the guys accept their roles and play them well. 

Let's look at the ultimate role player, Kendrick Perkins. This guy doesn't care about stats just about playing defense and rebounding.  Without him the Celtics don't win the title two years ago. Every team needs a guy like that to win.  Or what about Eddie House? He is the Celtics own version of  Steve Kerr and his streaky shooting is absolutely essential.  A couple years ago we had James Posey who was the ultimate role player, playing lock down D and hitting corner 3's. Was he as important as KG or Pierce? Probably not. But in his own way maybe he was.

Career role players have become scarce over the years.  More and more players are looking for the big contract to the detriment of the team.  That is what makes guys like Perk so special. I will always believe that if you have more than three superstars on your team you won't win a title because there is only one ball. Give me Posey, Perk, or Powe any day of the week.

The reason I think the Celtics can still win a title this year is beceause at the end of the day I think they have the best collection of role players in the league.   The key is whether they can all be healthy and click at the same time. In any case, just because guys like KG and Ray are not superstars anymore does not mean they are not important players on the team.  It just means they have taken on a new role. What do you all think it means to be a "role player?"

Karl Dillinger 2/05/2010 04:53:00 PM Edit
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19 Responses so far.

  1. tb727 says:

    Michael Cooper, KC Jones, Frank Ramsey, Horace Grant, Bobby Jones, Don Nelson, Satch Sanders, Ben Wallace, Eddie Johnson, Vinnie Johnson, John Paxson, Bill Laimbeer, Bill Bradley, Kurt Rambis, Paul Pressey, Ricky Pierce, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr, Paul Silas, James Posey and the ultimate roll player, Robert Horry.

  2. tb727 says:

    *ultimate ROLE player. Hate typos that I can't fix lol.

    Nicely written Karl.

  3. JR says:

    Leave Karl alone. Ha. And btw TB it's Rivas's
    Not Rivas'

    All you guys suck so bad at apostrophes it's not even funny.

    I guess I'd classify a role player as either a starter or reserve who has no shot at being an all-star. By that definition, that would eliminate Rondo, Pierce, KG and Perk. Ray would be borderline.

    TB's list actually is very accurate.

  4. tb727 says:

    I was correcting myself, not Karl.

    And why would it be Rivas's and not Rivas'? If something belongs to Thomas it's Thomas' not Thomas's...

  5. JR says:

    Oh my bad on who made the mistake, but the apostrophe thing stands. I taught 4th grade grammar before and apostophe at the end is only for plurals owning. Even though it looks odd the correct spelling is Rivas's or Thomas's To make it easier think of it how you'd pronounce it.

  6. Karl Dillinger says:

    I just realized how many times I said role player in that column. Redundant much?

  7. JR says:

    Not that my grammar is all-star worthy. I'm just a role player in that category, but apostrophes is my role. lol.

  8. tb727 says:

    So when would it just be "Thomas'" ? Use it in a sentence please.

  9. JR says:

    I don't think it would ever be. Thomas isn't a plural. Poor Karl. Out of the 9 comments only like one and a half are about role players.

  10. tb727 says:

    You're SO wrong! Thomas' absolutely exists!

    http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/possessive.html

    Trust me I too, have always been excellent at grammar. I just don't toot my own horn.

    It now appears to me you're good at nothing lmao.

  11. Karl Dillinger says:

    Ya, I saw 10 comments and was like wow people must have liked it....then I saw this.

  12. JR says:

    We'll have to let ThomasJ settle this.


    Btw Karl are you calling KG a role player???

  13. Bohemian says:

    We should have kept Posey :(

  14. Karl Dillinger says:

    At this point in his career, yes. Has he been able to carry the Celtics in more than one game this season? Again though, it's not a bad thing.

  15. JR says:

    See Karl I guess we disagree some on this. I think your pic of Posey and House is perfect as an example of role players, but I don't think Perk or KG are role players. KG can't be judged simply by points and rebounds. He doesn't just serve a role on our team... without him we lose our identity. And Perk, though I know you're down on him right now, is one of the elite defensive centers in the game and has been showing an improving offensive game. It would not have been a shock to see him added as an allstar this year at what, 25 yrs old? Rasheed is a role player. House, Baby, Tony, Quis as well. Ray is borderline depending on how you view his decline (he wasn't a role player vs. Chicago in the playoffs).

    Good article, but I respectfully disagree on Perk and KG, especially the latter.

    p.s. Oh yeah and TB was proven wrong on the apostrophe thing last night in the game chat. :-)

  16. Ya I dunno. I guess there are different levels of role players. Garnett is a beast.

  17. JR says:

    Karl. How many hotdogs did you eat last night and what % of beasts are role players? Both are serious questions.

  18. Bohemian says:

    Garnett is not a role player, he is a star

  19. tb727 says:

    Karl was slated to eat 9 hot dogs, signifying the number of points the Nets were beaten by...

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