Top 20 Sports Sidekicks of All Time
The 20 Best Sidekicks in Sports History
Being a sidekick isn't the most glorious job. Even the word itself doesn't sound all that great. If you're a sidekick, you're not the star, hero or leader. However, sidekick is one of the most important jobs in the world of sports. Every great player needs a partner in crime. Someone to take the pressure off.
So what makes a great sports sidekick?
First off, it must be said that many sidekicks themselves are great at what they do. Many of the players you'll find in this slideshow are in the hall of fame and many of them could have had much different careers if they simply were drafted to another team. But as things turned out, all of these gentlemen were on teams with bigger stars.
You have to think that the sidekick moniker didn't sit well with a few of these guys. Egos are a big part of sports and labeling someone as a sidekick is definitely an ego blow on some level. But another part of team sports is playing your part and for these guys, the No. 2 guy was that role.
But just like the No. 1 guys, sidekicks are still judged by how many rings they won and by how they played when it mattered most. There certainly had to be times when the sidekick outshined the star, otherwise, they wouldn't be considered with greatest of all time. Simply put, most of these guys are stars in their own right and played nearly as much of a part in their team's success.
So with all that in mind, we'll take a look at top 20 sidekicks in sports history. These are the Robins to the Batmans of the world, or the Batmans to the Supermans of the world - however you want to spin it. Enjoy:
Westbrook is still in the first stage of his career, so he might not be a sidekick for life. But up to this point, he's been nothing but solid as Kevin Durant's No. 2 guy. When healthy, you can make a solid case for Westbrook being the best sidekick in the NBA today.
Taylor was the other half of the field during Jerry Rice's tenure in San Francisco. In total he made the Pro Bowl twice, while helping the 49ers win three Super Bowls.
Kurri formed one of the greatest hockey duos of all time with Wayne Gretzky in Edmonton from 1980-1988. He also reunited with The Great One in Los Angeles with the Kings in the early 90s. In total, he assisted on 196 of Gretzky's career goals.
Injuries derailed what could have been one of the greatest players in NBA history. Penny and Shaq were the hottest young duo in the game back in the mid-90s, with Hardaway usually playing the role of sidekick to O'Neal.
The Bad Boys of Detroit would not have been complete without the shooting ability of Dumars. He was a great compliment to Isiah Thomas.
Earl the Pearl teamed up with Walt Frazier to help the Knicks win their last championship, way back in 1973.
Dent was a beastly hall of fame defensive end, but many think of him as Mike Singletary's sidekick in Chicago.
Big Game James is also a basketball hall-of-famer and a former No. 1 pick. He was great, but always a little overshadowed by Magic Johnson in Laker Land.
Drysdale won the Cy Young Award in 1962 and won 209 games in total over his 14-year career. But at the same time, he played along side one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Sandy Koufax.
Harrison was Peyton Manning's sidekick for all those great runs in Indianapolis. There's no denying those teams wouldn't have been the same without him.
It's probably a safe bet that Wade didn't envision himself as a No. 2 guy at this point in his career, but Lebron James signing with your team will change everything. I think we can all agree Wade doesn't have three rings without Lebron.
Although Bryant evolved into the Black Mamba later in his career, he was clearly Shaq's sidekick during their three-peat in L.A.
Maris arguably knew what it meant to play second fiddle more than any other athlete in the history of American sports.
What a legendary defensive combo Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were. Lewis was the clear leader of the Ravens, but Reed was always right there behind him, both literally and figuratively.
Schilling in his prime was the No. 2 guy behind Randy Johnson. That's how good the Big Unit was back in his first stint with the D-Backs. They finished 1-2 in the Cy Young voting in 2001 and 2002, during Johnson's streak of four straight.
He didn't look a whole lot like a pro athlete, but McHale was the backbone of the great Celtics teams of the 1980s.
Stockton is usually considered the sidekick when it comes to the duo of him and Karl Malone. The Mailman was the scorer, while Stockton was the facilitator.
How do you get overshadowed while winning six championships? You play alongside Bill Russell.
One of the greatest of all time was actually the No. 2 guy on his team. When you play on the Yankees in the 20s with Babe Ruth, that'll happen.
We all know who the greatest sidekick of all time is - Scottie Pippen. He's one of the top 50 players in NBA history and a hall-of-famer. Without Pippen, there aren't six championship banners hanging from the rafters at the United Center right now. You know he epitomizes the part, when people to this day say, "that guy needs to find a Pippen."