NBA Says Goodbye To a Great Defender and a Great Player

Sky JonesContributor ISeptember 3, 2009

DALLAS - APRIL 25:  Guard Bruce Bowen #12 of the San Antonio Spurs during play against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on April 25, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Not to long ago, opposing teams would have chills go down their spines everytime he entered the game. The anger in fans would flair up, at the meer thought of him.m While his teammates and coach embraced him, anyone who faced him hated him. Bruce Bowen made a name for himself as the "dirtiest player" the NBA has ever seen. Now that isnt referring to his level of cleanliness. But rather his tricks and mindgames he played on some of the greatest players in the world today. He would go to any length to stop his man from doing anything good for their respective teams. But today quietly, much quieter than such a controversial player deserves, he decided to retire from the NBA after a successful 12-year career. 

Bruce Bowen love him or hate him, was a unique player, in a good way. He was not like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant or even Kevin Garnett. He was not flashy and he didnt dominate the stat sheet. Rather he took pride in playing his game, playing hard defence and hustling at all times. He was a key piece to the San Antonio Spurs for eight years, during which time he played a big role in giving them three championships. Although he was hated by many, with that on his resume there is not denying he was good. 

But lets get to the juicy stuff, I mean for those who arent hard-core fans, you must be wondering what the hell did this guy do to make people hate him. Well let me tell you, he was the guy that talked shit to you, poked you, pulled your jersey and was just in your face for every minute he was guarding you. But he is most well known for two things, kicking Ray Allen in the face and kicking Steve Nash in the balls. He doesnt deny the fact, rather he blames others for instigating it. That is the player he is, he'll do anything to win, and lets face it win he did. 

He had one blatent weakness, his offence. But in the later years of his career, he developed a clutch, deadly three-point shot from the corner. So opponents could no longer sag off him on defence. Once he developed that, he was a major contributor to the winning ways of the Spurs.

So heres to a great player, and may he always be remembered not only as "the dirtiest player", but also as a winner.

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