JOSH HOWARD'S emergence as a scorer, rebounder and
defender casts him in the clear role of Robin to Dirk Nowitzki's Batman on the
Mavericks. Herewith, other players--all of whom are in the Hall of Fame or will
be--who have performed key roles in the shadow of a superstar.
KOBE BRYANT, G, Los Angeles Lakers
His stand-alone talent was always evident, but he never outscored Shaquille
O'Neal in L.A.'s threepeat years (2000 to '02), when Shaq was the Finals MVP
SCOTTIE PIPPEN, F, Chicago Bulls
Was a small forward but roamed all over the court and was first-team
all-defense eight times. Averaged 18.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in
11 seasons in Chicago, helping Michael Jordan to six championships.
KEVIN MCHALE, F, Boston Celtics
Played with Larry Bird for 12 seasons, winning three titles. Was one of the
best back-to-the-basket technicians ever (17.9-point career average) and a
canny rebounder (7.3) and shot blocker (1.74).
JERRY LUCAS, F-C, Cincinnati Royals
One of the game's first truly versatile big men, he could rebound (15.6 career
average) and shoot from way, way outside, though he never outscored Oscar
Robertson in their six full seasons together.
CLIFF HAGAN, F, St. Louis Hawks
Played alongside all-timer Bob Pettit in the Hawks' frontcourt for nine
seasons; fierce competitor with a great hook shot who finished with career NBA
averages of 18.0 points and 6.9 rebounds. Won one title and lost to the Celtics
in three Finals.