Monday, April 21, 2008

You know there's a lot of nice red wines coming out of Argentina nowadays

I'd just like to briefly congratulate Manu Ginobili on winning the 2008 Sixth Man of the Year Award. You could make a strong case that Ginobili may be the greatest 6th man of all time. For me, Kevin McHale is the only one who also stands out as a GOAT in this category. And in case your skeptical, how many times have you seen a bench player do this:

There's some people who think that someone like Manu shouldn't even be able to win the sixth man of the year award (Tas Melas at The Basketball Jones) because he so clearly is an all-star caliber player who for strategic reasons comes off the bench. At points Tas seems to suggest that in actuality the "sixth man" should be a superb glue guy or something to that effect. And in all honesty, I agree with him. I think the idea of being a sixth man should mean that you are not one of the best players on your team but bring some combination of superb role-playing/intangibles that puts your team over the top. You could make a case that Manu is not just the Sixth Man of the Year but the Spurs MVP this year (I am not saying that outright, I am just saying you could make the case).

The reason I am comfortable proclaiming him the greatest sixth man of all time is because he is not up against good glue guys. Other sixth man winners include McHale, Bill Walton, Antawn Jamison, Leandro Barbosa, John Starks, Toni Kukoc and Danny Manning. Whether or not what Tas proposes should be the criteria for 6th man, it certainly hasn't been. These guys are big name guys, several off them Hall of Famers. So the fact that in comparison to that list Manu stands out as a legitimate candidate for greatest ever is no small feat.

N.B. I'd just like to briefly point out that both this year's sixth man recipient and last year's took a shot to win the game on Saturday but only one of them actually went in.

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