Inquiring Minds Want To Know – What Is A Sixth Man?
In the movies, the actor who steals the show and is actually on par with the leading man or woman is nominated for the “Best Supporting Role” at the Oscars. But in the game of basketball, the number of guys in the starting lineup is limited to only five. Therefore, the chance of having an equally skilled player on the bench is very likely and the chance of the player making an impact, is critical. Over the years, the NBA has celebrated with some of the best players, who have won the coveted award, which is awarded to the player who contributes the most from the bench. And so for all inquiring minds, this award is called The Sixth Man Award. In an era where egos live at large in sports, the sixth man has to believe in himself and his team, willing to sacrifice ego for the playing time given to him, and still hold it together to make that valued contribution. The Sixth Man is a leader, he is motivated, he is a shot caller, a playmaker, a baller and the ultimate teammate. This year, the honor to this “most wanted man off the bench” goes to the Dallas Maverick’s Jason Terry. Eligibility for this award requires that the nominee/player is one who comes off the bench, in more games than he has started. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
Terry received 576 of a possible 605 points, including 111 of a possible 121 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. J.R. Smith of the Denver Nuggets finished second with 155 points and Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks finished third with 113 points.
As part of its support of the Sixth Man of the Year Award, Kia Motors America will donate either a new Borrego SUV or Sedona minivan on behalf of Terry to the Rock T. Youth Foundation in Dallas. Kia Motors will present a brand new vehicle to the charity of choice of each of four 2008-09 season-end award winners as part of the “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.”
A sixth man in 63 of 74 games played this season, Terry averaged 19.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 33.6 minutes. He shot .463 from the field, .366 from beyond the three-point line and .880 from the free throw line. Among NBA leaders, Terry ranked 10th in three-pointers made (167), 11th in free throw percentage, 17th in steals, and tied for 22nd in scoring average.
This tenth-year veteran of the NBA averages more points than each of the last 18 Sixth Man of the Year winners and combined with Dirk Nowitzki for the third highest scoring average (45.5 ppg) among teammates. The 6-2 guard had 33 games in which he scored at least 20 points as a reserve and 26 contests in which he matched or outscored the opposing bench.
The 2008-09 NBA Sixth Man Award presented by Kia Motors is part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The NBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.” The awards, which are part of a multi-year marketing partnership that makes Kia Motors America the official automotive partner of the NBA, also include the Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, and Most Improved Player Award. The series also includes the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month presented by Kia Motors.