For NBA players, legacies are written in stone based off their performance in the post-season. Reputations are made and the gospel is spoken about how players executed in the most clutch of moments. It's the reason professional basketball players lace 'em up and play the damn game.
There might not be a player I was a fan of more than Robert Horry. A person who was tabbed as the next evolution of Scottie Pippen/Stacey Augmon when he was drafted out of Alabama, we have seen the man evolve from an all-around athlete in Houston, to throwing towels in Danny Ainge's face, to being arguably one of the best role players in NBA history. By simply "Knowing His Role," he was able to be feared for his excellence in execution.
I can't think of one person in the NBA who is like that right now. Not one.
Yes, the man was clutch. Yes, the man was fearless. Most important however, the man was smart. Tons of times, Robert Horry was able to make that big shot, dunk on somebody, or make a key defensive play just by being in the right position. Horry wasn't out here shooting contested threes. He went to that elbow like Tomjanovich taught him, or the top of the key like Jackson taught him, or the corner like Popovich taught him and waited. Penetrate and kick, make that open three, and everyone goes home happy.
However, it's more than that with Rob, because Horry was willing to go out there and defend literally anyone from the 2 to the 5. Hell, Rob was 6'10, but didn't weigh anything more than 225 pounds, yet, when the big homie Shaq or the big fundamental Timmy Duncan was in foul trouble, Horry was going down there in the paint playing defense and giving folks hard fouls. He had no fear. Heck, if you needed to take someone out the damn game, he could do that as well. You want him to hip check the star point guard into the scorer's table while simultaneously getting the other team's big man outta there, too? He gotcha.
Outside of Vinnie "Microwave" Johnson, no one got more respect off the bench than Horry. The only that hurt my heart was that after he left the Rockets, he went to two teams that I'm not fans of at all: the Lakers and the Spurs. To be real, those teams are winners, and winning organizations understand what type of players you need to be victorious. The man prevented young Shaq from making Orlando a champion. The man prevented the Sacramento Kings from being the best team in the NBA. The man prevented the Detroit Basketball Pistons from being a dynasty. The man single-handedly took out the 7-seconds or less era before our very eyes.
Robert Horry altered almost 15 basketball seasons just by knowing his damn role, and as a result, he's got more rings than any player in NBA history outside of anyone who played in the 1960's with the Celtics.
All hail Robert Keith Horry, a one of a kind legend.
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