The Atlanta Hawks have a really good history in the role of the sixth man over the seasons. They had Jamal Crawford who won the Sixth Man of the Year award at the start of the decade. Despite this, Bleacher Report rated Crawford as one of the most over-rated players of this period
Crawford was actually one of the best players to ever come off the bench for most of his time in the league. He won the award three times over a long, decorated career. In fact, Crawford redefined the role of the sixth man, showing that players could make a career out of being in the rotation without starting for a team.
The other player that the Hawks have who is on this list is Lou Williams who has also made a career coming off the bench. He has also won the award three times in a glittering career. So, the question is, where do these players rank according to Bleacher Report in the players who have played this role over the last twenty-two seasons?
Where do the Atlanta Hawks’ sixth men rank?
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the list of the best sixth men since the year 2000 is fairly short. James Harden is on it as he won this award with the OKC Thunder. Andre Iguodala is on the list as he was crucial for the Golden State Warriors title runs. Both players have been starters for most of their careers so did not make the actual list.
The other player on the honorable mentions is Lamar Odom who helped the Los Angeles Lakers win two titles in 2009 and 2010. He then went on to win the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2014 but as the article states, he was only a top sub for three seasons which does not put him on the official list.
Buckley ranks Leandro Barbosa as the fifth-best six-man of this century. He was incredible in the Phoenix Suns’ fast-paced offense which suited his style of play. He only won the award once but was always in the mix throughout his career.
Then Buckley ranks Jason Terry as the fourth-best six-man of this century. He also won the award once but was the super-sub for the Dallas Mavericks who took so much of the heat away from NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki. He was a catalyst for the Mavericks championship in 2011.
Buckley then sees Crawford as the third-best sixth-man with Williams just ahead of him in the second spot. Given how amazing their careers were, the player who is ranked first must be pretty special.
This is certainly the case as Manu Ginobili is ranked by Buckley as the best sixth man of the century. While he only won the award once, there are few players who came off the bench who had the same impact on the game as Ginobili.
The San Antonio Spurs legend is part of the winningest trio ever to play the game. His individual brilliance was often overshadowed by Tim Duncan and Tony Parker but Ginobili was often the player who got the Spurs back into games and was a huge reason behind their sustained success. Buckley certainly got this listing right.