The Sixth Man

A History of the NBA’s Best Off the Bench

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About the Book

While the starting lineup of an NBA team consists of five players, there are at least 12 on each roster. Allocating time on court to keep each of them satisfied is challenging. Theoretically the worst position on the roster is the sixth man—so close to being the starter yet seeming to be the odd man out. This book aims at dispelling that notion, presenting many important players who through the years came off the bench for NBA teams, proving that despite not starting, they were worthy of playing in the best basketball league in the world.

About the Author(s)

Lukasz Muniowski (Ph.D., American literature, University of Warsaw) has written numerous academic articles on various topics, including gentrification, geek culture, American literature, video games and television series. He lives in Poland.

Bibliographic Details

Łukasz Muniowski
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 193
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8538-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4394-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. The First of the Sixth Men 15
2. From the Bench to the Hall of Fame 26
3. From the Bench to a Starting Role (on a Different Team) 45
4. Champions Off the Bench 60
5. Playoff Heroes Off the Bench 70
6. Hall of Fame Careers Saved by the Bench 84
7. The Uneasy Transition from the Starting Lineup to the Bench 101
8. ­High-Volume Scorers 113
9. Big Men Off the Bench 124
10. Rotation Players 136
11. Stats 147
Chapter Notes 171
Bibliography 179
Index 181

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Łukasz Muniowski covers a lot of ground in his look at the history of sixth men in the NBA, a book worthy of a starting role.”—Kerry Eggers, author, Jail Blazers: How the Portland Trail Blazers Became the Bad Boys of Basketball

• “Łukasz Muniowski broadens the perspective of basketball with Sixth Men: NBA History off the Bench. All of the legends and their roundabout paths to stardom are here: From Kobe Bryant and Kevin McHale, to James Harden and Bob McAdoo, to Boris Diaw, Robert (Big Shot) Horry and Frank Ramsey, who established the necessity of the sixth man as the Boston Celtics formed their original dynasty in the 1950s. Sixth Men, like the players it depicts, is a game changer.”—Ian Thomsen, author, The Soul of Basketball