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10 NBA Players With The Most Appearances Off The Bench: Lou Williams Broke Dell Curry’s Record With 985 Games Played

10 NBA Players With The Most Appearances Off The Bench: Lou Williams Broke Dell Curry’s Record With 985 Games Played

In the NBA, star players are praised the most and are often at the center of news media outlets. After all, basketball is a star player’s sport because they have the ability to influence the outcome of a game because they can demand the ball anytime. But star players cannot do it on their own, and it often takes a team of professionals in the starting lineup and the bench to make a difference.

With regards to the latter, bench players are extremely important because they provide the energy and production when starters need a breather. Even if coming off the bench is not necessarily the most heralded aspect of the game, players coming into the game as non-starters certainly deserve more respect. Without proper depth, teams have little to no chances of winning a championship. But which players were most productive off the bench by appearing in the most games? Here is the top-10 list of players who have the most appearances coming off the bench.

10. Nick Collison - 733 Games

Credit: USA Today

Credit: USA Today

Career Stats: 5.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Known as Mr. Thunder, Nick Collison was a loyal servant for the Oklahoma City Thunder throughout his career. The power forward and center completed 14 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics and OKC Thunder, on an average of 20.4 MPG. As a solid defender and team player, Collison did the best he could on the court depending on his abilities.

Drafted No. 12 in the 2003 Draft, Collison was taken to not become a star player but to provide coverage off the bench. The big man had the best seasons in his 3rd and 4th seasons, putting up 9.6 PPG and 8.1 RPG in year 3 and 9.8 PPG and 9.4 RPG in year 4. As a two-way big man who just wanted to win games, it is no surprise to see Mr. Thunder on the list.

9. Leandro Barbosa - 738 Games

Leandro Barbosa

Career Stats: 10.0 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG

One of the quickest guards in NBA history, Leandro Barbosa was a blur as soon as he got ahead of steam. Completing 14 seasons in the NBA, Barbosa played for 5 different teams while coming off the bench a whopping 738 times out of 850 appearances.

The Brazilian Blur had his best season in 2007 by averaging 18.1 PPG and 4.0 APG on 47.6% shooting from the field and 43.4% from the three-point line. Standing 6’3”, Barbosa was capable of getting good looks at the rim and also creating space from the perimeter. Barbosa’s greatest moment came during the 2015 season when he was a bench player for the championship-winning Golden State Warriors team.

8. Joe Kleine - 761 Games

Joe Kleine

Career Stats: 3.9 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG

A 6’11” center known as “Taco Joe”, the big man from Colorado was a decent contributor off the bench throughout his career. His main job was to come in, wreak havoc inside, and use his raw size to protect the rim. His numbers were not impressive by any means, but his impact was there at times.

Kleine never averaged in double-digits in scoring for a single season, but he came closest in his third season during 1988. The big man put up 9.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 0.7 BPG during the season, although he did start 60 games that year. Overall, throughout his career, Kleine came off the bench 761 games out of 965 total appearances.

7. Jon Barry - 785 Games

Jon Barry

Career Stats: 5.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.1 BPG

The son of legendary athlete Rick Barry, Jon Barry had a long career that included spans with 8 different franchises. The shooting guard was considered a solid locker room guy because he competed to the best of his ability when on the court.

Jon had his best season in 2002 for the Detroit Pistons when he averaged 9.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.3 APG on 48.9% shooting from the field, 46.9% from three, and 93.1% from the free-throw line. His elite shooting numbers were impressive that year, but he was a solid shooter over his career with averages of 39.2% from three and 84.8% from the stripe.

6. Kyle Korver - 809 Games

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Career Stats: 8.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG

One of the greatest shooters ever, Kyle Korver made a living by being a go-to shooter off the bench. Mainly known for his time with the 76ers, Jazz, Hawks, and Cavaliers; Korver was always willing to get shots up when he had space. Appearing in over 800 games off the bench, the shooter had excellent shooting numbers.

Korver shot 41.7% from three over his 809 appearances and also 88.1% from the free-throw line. The sharpshooter had some incredible shooting seasons as well, including 52 games off the bench in 2010 while nailing 53.6% from three. Korver also shot 43.6% from three in 69 games off the bench in 2018.

5. Antoine Carr - 819 Games

Antoine Carr

Career Stats: 8.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG

A 6’9” big man that had a long career, Carr is mainly known for his efforts with the Finals Utah Jazz teams during the late 1990s. The big man only averaged 20.0 MPG over his career, but was actually an impactful player during the anomaly 1991 season when he put up 20.1 PPG and 5.5 RPG for the Sacramento Kings.

Antoine Carr was mainly a backup big for the majority of his career, coming off the bench 819 games out of 987 total appearances. The power forward was solid defensively and did the dirty work whenever he was on the court. For the contending Jazz teams, Carr averaged 7.5 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 18.8 MPG.

4. Steve Kerr - 880 Games

Steve Kerr

Career Stats: 5.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG

Quite possibly a top-5 shooter ever, Steve Kerr made a career out of being a backup guard that got shots up as much as possible. Winning a whopping 5 NBA titles, Steve Kerr was clearly a part of all-time great teams over his career.

Before he became a Hall of Fame coach, Kerr was a Hall of Fame-worthy shooter. It is amazing that Kerr only started 30 games in his career, coming off the bench 880 out of 910 games. Kerr had his best seasons with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 8.2 PPG on 47.9% shooting from three.

3. Jamal Crawford - 894 Games

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Career Stats: 12.6 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

One of the greatest 6th men ever, Jamal Crawford won a total of 3 6th Man of the Year awards as a star scorer off the bench. Armed with a killer crossover and the ability to create his own shot, Crawford had a successful career with the Knicks, Hawks, and Clippers.

Jamal Crawford played in a total of 1,327 games but started the vast majority of them. With 894 appearances off the bench, Crawford had above-average numbers as a 6th man as he ranks 1st all-time (tied with Lou Williams) for the most 6th Man of the Year awards.

2. Dell Curry - 984 Games

Dell Curry

Career Stats: 11.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG

One of the best pure shooters ever and the father of all-time great shooters Stephen and Seth Curry, Dell was one of the best bench players ever. The shooting guard completed 10 seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, putting up 14.0 PPG with only 77 starts out of 701 appearances.

But throughout his career, Dell came off the bench with 4 more teams including the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks. Curry was extremely efficient from three, nailing 40.3% of his long-distance shots. An extremely efficient shooter, Dell Curry held the record for most appearances off the bench for an NBA player until one player broke the record this week.

1. Lou Williams - 985 Games

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Career Stats: 13.5 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Quite possibly the greatest 6th man ever, Lou Williams won 3 6th Man of the Year awards with the Los Angeles Clippers (2) and the Toronto Raptors (1). The guard is extremely adept at creating his own shot, whether it is from the perimeter or at the rim through clever rim drives.

Sweet Lou was an undersized guard at only 6’1” and 175 lbs, but he always found a way to generate offense for his teams. Williams appeared in a total of 1,107 games in his career, coming off the bench 985 times with only 122 starts. Considered a professional scorer at an elite level, Lou continues to break records as an impactful 6th man. 


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