SI Vault
 
Captains, My Captain
Michael Farber
October 16, 2000
Here's how teams in the three other major pro leagues select captains—if they choose to have them at all—and what functions, official or otherwise, those players perform.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 16, 2000

Captains, My Captain

View CoverRead All Articles

Here's how teams in the three other major pro leagues select captains—if they choose to have them at all—and what functions, official or otherwise, those players perform.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASKETBALL

Method of Selection
Usually by the manager

Duties
Largely an honorary title

The Skinny
There was a time when the captaincy was more important than it is today. Pee Wee Reese, for example, was instrumental in getting his Dodgers teammates to accept Jackie Robinson after Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, in part because of his standing as captain. In recent decades, however, the importance of the captaincy has diminished. In fact, only two of 30 teams have captains: the Chicago Cubs ( Rick Aguilera, Mark Grace, Sammy Sosa and Kevin Tapani) and the Cincinnati Reds ( Barry Larkin).

NBA

Method of Selection
Usually by player vote

Duties
Mostly ceremonial; meet with the referees and opposing team's captain(s) before each game to discuss, among other things, how the game may be officiated.

The Skinny
All 29 teams will likely have a captain (or co-captains) this season, and the title clearly has appeal. During the off-season, Allen Iverson lobbied hard for the 76ers' captaincy. Iverson wouldn't be the first NBA player with a dubious rep to be a captain: Others have included Derrick Coleman with the Hornets and Latrell Sprewell with the Warriors.

NFL

Continue Story
1 2