What makes an NBA player great? Is it his personal achievements like awards, all-star nods, scoring titles and records, or is being a winner and playing for numerous great and championship teams? Well, the best of the best did both, but not everybody had the skill or luck to able to connect the two. That is why some of the all-time great players like Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, and many more have no rings, while specific role players like Robert Horry can flaunt their championships even though they were never the leaders of their teams.
So which career is more appealing? Well, Robert Horry himself was a guest recently on The Dan Patrick Show, as he shared if he would trade careers with Karl Malone:
“No. I would trade my salary for his, but other than that, no, I wouldn’t trade my career. Think about it, Karl Malone, he never won in the Finals. He’s 0 for 3,0 for 4; I’m 7 for 7. I’m not trading that. I know a lot of people will look at his career like he scored a lot of points, what third-leading scorer of all-time, no. It’s all about winning. It’s not about individual stats; it’s about getting it done as a team. It’s not single’s tennis, where you would be successful being a single person. I’m happy with my career.”Robert Horry, via The Dan Patrick Show
Horry had no doubts about his pick, as he clearly explained how basketball is a team sport centered around winning as a collective. A very admirable stance from “Big Shot Rob,” who was the epitome of a winner and role player every team needed to get the job done. After all, seven rings are no joke.
Sure getting stats and being a star has many perks, firstly getting bigger checks and making your name much more heard in the media. Today, many young players would probably take losing as a star rather than winning as a role player on their team, as that mentality is not one you want as a basketball player. Be a star in your role and help your team win. Horry knew that and based his career around that, rather than forcing a more significant role in a bad team. It paid off as today his name is very well known, and a potential Hall-of-Fame case is in play.