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10 Greatest role players in NBA history

To win a championship, you need more than just superstars.


Derek Fisher or Robert Horry: Who's No. 1?

In the ongoing era of Superteams in the NBA, every contending team has at least three superstars on their roster - four in the case of the Golden State Warriors. There was a time when the teams used to win titles with just one stud (1994-96 Houston Rockets or 1988-90 Detroit Pistons).

However, whether a team has one or two superstars or even three, they always need a lesser known player, a reserve or starter who isn't among their top three players, to step up and deliver for them in crucial times.

Here are a few conditions for players to feature on this list: a) they have to be part of a championship(s) team (b) They can't be among the top 3 players of the team and ideally they shouldn't have an All-Star appearance.

So here are the top 10 role players in NBA history:

#10 Ron Harper - Chicago Bulls

Ron Harper #4...
Ron Harper #4

Ron Harper was drafted eighth overall in the 1986 Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. For the first eight years of his career, he was the primary scorer with first the Cavs, and then the LA Clippers, averaging more than 19.35 points on nearly 45% shooting.

However, his most successful and noteworthy years were his final seven in the league - five with the Chicago Bulls and two with the Los Angeles Lakers. In those seven seasons, he won five NBA championships - three with the Bulls (1996, 97, 98) and two with the purple and gold franchise (2000, 01).

For obvious reasons, with both these franchises, Harper's numbers dropped significantly but he did just enough to help them out when they needed him the most. More importantly, his length (6'6") at the point guard spot helped these teams defensively, as all their perimeter players could then switch everything.

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