There’s a dying breed in today’s NBA: The players that will rip out a crowd’s heart have dwindled.
We’re talking the true Assassins of the NBA, the stone-cold heartbreakers. Not just a game closer, not only a player willing to take the last-second shot, but the guy who does it willingly, wants to, can’t wait to.
Quit your whining right now, stop before we even get out of the gate. We’re not talking about just a guy who takes a final shot. Or someone who works hard. It's not even a timely block or a stop on the defensive end.
This is different. It’s about DNA. We’re talking real assassins. That's why the guy you love might not be on this list.
There are only a handful of players in the league who will really break your heart. In a hostile environment, among a crowd of 16,000 strong routing against him, this player will still take and make the shot.
And, they will do it with a sneer on their face. Or, they come up with the steal that lets them go down and score to take a lead. It's not about offense or just defense.
Whether it’s a player early in the game who silences the crowd or one that puts his failing team on his back and wills them to victory, or the one who hits the last-second bucket that delivers the final gasp, there are only a few true assassins left in the league.
This is the guy everyone knows will beat you. This is the guy we scream at the TV to not let get the ball on the inbounds play. If we were coaching, we'd triple-team the guy and let someone else beat us.
These players borderline on extinction now, are throwbacks to earlier generations and are really a dying breed. They are old-school, not in their play but in their mindset. They excel in these moments and wait for the chance.
So, who are these heartbreakers?
Here the NBA’s Top 10 Assassins.