role player in basketball

A role player in basketball is someone who can come off the bench and contribute to a team. A role player will usually have a specific role on the team, whether it be offense or defense. There are many different types of role players in basketball, but what makes one great? In this blog post, we want to answer that question by discussing some of the best role players in NBA history. As well as their importance on a team.

What Makes a Great Role Player in Basketball?

For an individual to play the role of a role player. They must first prove themselves worthy through hard work ethic and determination; qualities which cannot be overlooked when speaking about Michael Jordan (“The Road To The Top: An Inside Look At .”).

It is a role player’s responsibility to prove their worth on the court. And persuade teammates that they are worthy of playing time. The role player must also be able to play within themselves. Not trying to do too much or make costly mistakes.

The characteristics of a role player are immense and require an individual that can play on both offense and defense. They must be able to play at a high level and contribute on both ends of the court.

role player in basketball

The Importance of a Role Player in Basketball

The role player is an important part of any basketball team. A role player will usually have a specific role on the team, whether it be offense or defense.

In order to have a successful season and be able to compete in the playoffs. You need role players who can contribute on both ends of the court with their hard work ethic and determination. Role-players will not always get all of the recognition for a job well done; they may only see limited playing time throughout a game or within a few games.

But they play important roles nonetheless. The role player plays an integral role in helping teams win championships. Because it takes more than just three superstars to make up great rosters.

Role players play a role in helping to create the culture of a team and set an example for everyone else on the roster. During LeBron James’ first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Role players such as Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Larry Hughes helped lay down the foundation that led them to win their first NBA Finals (Cavs History).

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Role players can be difference-makers who change games. Even if they do not get much recognition outside of just being role players. Every basketball team needs a role player because it takes 15 people working together towards one goal. Which is ultimately winning championships for teams to reach their full potential.

The most successful teams are those that have great role players who know make them unique but also understand their role within the team dynamic. Without role players, teams would struggle to find success and ultimately never win championships or get that far in the playoffs.

How to be a Role Player in Basketball?

To be a role player on a basketball team, firstly one must have a great work ethic and determination along with the willingness to improve. Once those qualities are present an individual has what it takes to become successful as a role player in basketball.

It is important for role players not to try to do too much or make costly mistakes; they need to stay within themselves and play their game.

Being able to contribute on both ends of the court will allow role-players ample opportunities throughout games regardless if they only see limited playing time during back-to-back contests.

A role player needs to understand his/her role but also how that fits into the overall picture which means getting everyone else involved in playing the role they have been given.

Role players are known for their ability to set an example and improve other players’ games so role players must play a role in helping teams win championships.

Great NBA Role Players

role player in basketball

Robert Horry

Robert Horry is a role model for role players everywhere. He played his entire career as an unsung hero and was always the third or fourth option on all of those great Laker squads that included names such as Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and Pau Gasol.

This type of role player is extremely important to have because they can help keep superstars happy by getting them involved in games and allowing them opportunities to score while not having to take shots away from others who may be struggling.

Horry won NBA championships with three different teams: Houston Rockets (twice), Los Angeles Lakers, and San Antonio Spurs where he helped create dynasties within each organization.

Horry played 17 years in the league and was a role player for 13 of those seasons; he also won two Sixth Man Of The Year awards which is why it makes sense that Horry would be such an important role player.

Since Robert Horry has retired, no other NBA role players have been able to step up and fill his shoes as one of the best role players ever because he truly had no peers when it came to being a great role player during his time in the association.

Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins is the perfect role player for today’s NBA because he can play, and contribute to teams without needing many shots or points.

He does not need to be an All-Star or even make All-League Defensive Teams as Horry did; he just needs to know his role as a role player which means providing energy, defense, rebounding, and setting screens.

What made Kendrick Perkins so great at being a role player is that he knew how good LeBron James is on both ends of the court so when they were together it allowed them both opportunities throughout games especially during back-to-back contests where starters typically do not get much playing time.

When players have so much talent surrounding them it is easy for role players to get lost in the shuffle and not be noticed as often, but Perkins did his job so well that he rarely made mistakes which allowed James to thrive on both ends of the court.

Perkins has been a role player since being drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies. He then spent some time with Boston where he won an NBA championship ring as a role player.

In 2008 Perkins went down as one of those unsung heroes we love as role players; someone who may never make headlines but will always do what needs to be done.

Derek Fisher

He is a role player who deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Horry and Perkins because he was there from day one. Derek Fisher not only won five NBA championships with two different organizations but also played for many other teams throughout his career which proves how much of a role player he truly was.

While playing alongside Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, Karl Malone, and even LeBron James; Derek helped bring home all those titles by being that role player that could do anything to help get another ring while doing whatever it takes on both ends of the court.

Fisher has been retired since 2012 so today’s role players have yet to find someone willing enough to take over his role as role player extraordinaire.


In conclusion, role players are necessary for any successful basketball team; they can come off the bench and provide an immediate spark that gets their teammates going. The role player doesn’t have to be great, but it takes immense work ethic to become one.

role player in basketball

Many role-players will never make it into the NBA Hall of Fame or even All-Star Game; however, these role-players stand out because they were consistent throughout their careers.

With this said there has been some debate over whether role players should join superstars on All-Star teams, but role players are the reason that many superstars have become who they are. Without role players present in their lives there would be no one to pass them the ball or make plays happen.

Here are Some of our Favourite Basketball Sneakers

Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the sneakers worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current sneakers, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out on these sneakers? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc. Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific sneakers.

What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?


Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.


On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.


Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.

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