Let's face it, we all know who they are.
They're the yeomen, the unsung heroes. Many times they're the guys who just fill out the roster, the 12th, 13th, 14th man. Sometimes they're the kings of the 10-day contract.
Yes, the life of a journeyman isn't exactly glamorous. Many times, it's all guts and no glory. But for some, they've made quite a career out of being traveling players who hone their skill. Some contributed key roles to championship teams, others became stars who just never found a home.
But they all served a purpose, and every single team has those guys. They're the glue that holds those teams together.
So here are the 25 best journeymen in NBA history,
Note: For this slideshow, players who spent their careers with four or more teams (including ABA) are eligible.
Gatling was never on a great team, but he had some serviceable years during his long career.
He spent his first four years with the Warriors but moved around during the rest of his career between Dallas, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Orlando, Detroit, Cleveland and Miami.
His best year by far was 1996-97, when he averaged 19 points and seven rebounds in 47 games between Dallas and New Jersey despite only starting once. He was never able to recapture the magic from that season.
Perhaps the most outstanding stat about Tyrone Corbin's career is that he was traded from Cleveland to Phoenix in 1987 with Kevin Johnson and a draft pick that was eventually Dan Majerle.
Either way, Corbin enjoyed a long career between nine teams (including two stints in Atlanta and Sacramento).
Like Gatling, Corbin enjoyed some good years.
The two years he spent in Minnesota on the expansion Timberwolves were the best years of Corbin's career. He started all but two games for the Timberwolves, including 18.0 points and seven rebounds per game in 1990-91. He wandered around as a veteran for the rest of his career, finishing up north of the border in Toronto.
But he might be known for another thing from now on: The man who took over for Jerry Sloan.
Edwards is more recognizable for his stylish moustache (which earned him the nickname "Buddha"), but he was a dependable player over his long career.
"Buddha" finished with three championship rings (two from the "Bad Boy" Pistons) and averaged more than 12 points per game for his career. But more than a hired gun, Edwards is in the top 100 on the all-time lists for blocks, games played, defensive rebounds and free-throw attempts.
Marshall was never a star during his career, yet he kept getting jobs for his rebounding prowess and his sharpshooting from outside.
He finished his career 97th in three-pointers attempted and had seven seasons averaging 10 or more points per game. He spent time on some decent teams but was never really rewarded until he played with LeBron James on the 2006-07 Eastern Conference Champion Cavaliers.
That was before they were swept by the Spurs, of course.
During his long career, Eddie House has never started more than 10 games in a season and never averaged 10 points a game in a season. Perhaps the most interesting trade he was ever a part of involved him and Voshon Lenard.
So you must be wondering how he's been in the league so long?
Well being one of the better three-point mercenaries (.397 career three-point percentage, 47th all-time) and shooting 84 percent from the charity stripe will keep you around for a while.
Brent Barry obviously has the bloodlines and the three-point shooting touch. He's 19th all-time in three-point percentage and 17th all-time in made three-pointers.
Like House, he was a hired gun who made a living off of hitting the outside shot off the bench.
But Barry might be best known for being the most random Slam Dunk champion in All-Star Weekend history, when he took home the title as a member of the Clippers.
Anderson played on eight teams during his career, but most people probably forget that as much as he moved around during the 1990s and 2000s, he was actually a pretty good point guard.
He was a decent shooter and a nice scoring option, putting together eight straight seasons averaging 10 or more points per game. He was also on some good teams as well, notably the 2001-02 Boston Celtics that made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.
But his real worth was as a distributor. Anderson finished his career in the top 60 all-time in assists and assists per game.
And just think—he spent a few of those years getting the ball to Derrick Coleman.
Thomas has played in Miami, Dallas, New York, Phoenix, Seattle, San Antonio, Milwaukee and now Chicago during his 16-year career that's still going strong.
But it was his time in New York that really made him an NBA mainstay.
He signed with the Knicks as a free agent in 1999 and spent six seasons as a vital part of the Knicks teams making their last run at a championship, then as a vital member of the teams spiraling downwards towards mediocrity.
But still, it was his abilities as a rebounder and occasional low-post scorer that made him attractive and still do now as a veteran.
Some might think Perkins underachieved for being the fourth overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. But while he might not have lived up to the expectations of being a lottery pick—especially since he was picked before Charles Barkley and John Stockton—Perkins still made a nice career for himself.
"Big Smooth" spent 17 seasons between the Mavericks, Lakers, Sonics and Pacers.
He made some big contributions along the way, averaging double-digit points in each of his first 13 seasons and playing a role on the 1995-96 Western Conference Champion Sonics.
Hard to believe, but there was a time that Joe Smith was more than just an expiring contract and a trade chip like Theo Ratliff.
Smith was actually the first overall pick of the 1995 Draft by Golden State, which wouldn't be that bad if he hadn't been taken before Kevin Garnett, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Michael Finley. Still, Smith's made a nice career for himself as a rebounder and a low-post player who could knock down a mid-range jumper.
Plus, there had to be something appealing that Minnesota would lose five first-round picks over him.
Posey is an interesting case because he's a guy who has the potential to be a starter in the NBA, and has for awhile, yet he's much better and contributes more when he comes off the bench.
In the right situation, Posey can be a good scorer and three-point shooter off the bench. He was an integral part of the Heat's title run in 2006 and the Celtics' championship in 2008. Yet he's never been able to stick as a starter.
Even so, he's still an effective player.
So let's be honest here—when you look at the Heat roster and see Juwan Howard on it, how many of you were shocked he's still in the league?
Let's put it this way—Howard goes back to when the Wizards were still the Washington Bullets.
His best years are still the six he spent in Washington early in his career, but since 2001 he's been wandering around the NBA as a role player: Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Houston, Dallas and Denver again, Charlotte, Portland and finally Miami.
Before he became an expiring contract, Thomas was one of the more sought-after players around.
Okay, that's hyperbole.
But he did earn himself a lot of jobs because of his scoring ability and his outside shooting, although he never lived up to the hype coming out of Villanova when he was selected by the Sixers.
If nothing else, Thomas could stake to his name that he was part of some of the most intricate, complicated trades you'll ever find during a career that spanned seven teams.
Big Shot Bob. You knew he had to be on this list.
Surprisingly, he only played for four teams during his long career. With someone of the reputation of Horry, you'd think it would be more. But it wasn't his stats that defined him. Rather it was the tough defense, the decent offense from a three-four forward hybrid, and of course the clutch shots.
He just hit clutch shots in his career.
I think somewhere Vlade Divac still has nightmares about batting that ball outside the paint.
Among his career highlights in terms of trades, Jim Jackson has been involved in trades with such stars as Ed O'Bannon, Eric Montross and Isaiah Ryder.
Fortunately for him, his career was much better.
Jackson was the prototypical journeyman during his 15-year, 12-team career. But he wasn't just a roster-filler. Jackson contributed everywhere he went for most of his career and even started some places as a fine defender and three-point shooter.
He was just never able to stick to a team for more than a year or two after he left Dallas.
McDyess might've been more highly recognized as one of the best low-post players in the game if he hadn't spent most of his career stuck on awful Nuggets teams.
By the time he made it to places like New York, Phoenix and Detroit, he was already starting to decline, and some of those teams were on the way down as well.
Yet he seems to have found a home in San Antonio as a role player, and an effective one. He can still knock down that mid-range jumper, and he's still an effective rebounder.
Person was one of those players who moved around more at the end of his career than he did in his prime. In fact, he was a pretty good forward who averaged just under 15 points per game for his career and shot 36 percent from three.
But after five years in Indiana, he was traded to Minnesota for Pooh Richardson, among others, and bounced around the league after that. He spent two years in Minnesota, then five in San Antonio before being traded to Charlotte and eventually finishing his career in Seattle.
There were some who probably questioned Rodman's dyed hair, his tattoo-covered body and his dubious decisions off the court.
But there was no questioning the skill as one of the fiercest low-post defenders and rebounders of his time—fifth all time in offensive rebounds, 18th all-time in defensive rebounds and 22nd all-time in total rebounds.
Add in seven All-NBA Defensive First Team honors, a few rings, numerous hair colors and one kicked cameraman over a career spanning five franchises, and you have The Worm.
Strickland was never able to stay in one place long during his NBA career, moving around between New York, San Antonio and Washington among his many stops.
Of course, the problem with Strickland was never about talent. He was a nice point guard in terms of scoring and distribution.
But something always seemed to come up; whether it was another guard (New York), a contract dispute (San Antonio) or just a fledgling franchise (Washington), he never stayed around.
Of course, there was that whole "I won't play in the All-Star Game" bit, but that never came up.
Not to be confused with Clifford Robinson, who was a pretty good player who bounced around in his own right. But we want just plain Cliff here.
Speaking of him, I don't know what's more amazing: the fact that he never spent more than three years with one team in his 11-year career, or that he never averaged fewer than 13.6 points per game for 10 of his 11 seasons.
And hey, the fact that he was traded for Moses Malone has to mean something.
Ellis was never flashy, nor did he stay around in one place too long during his seven-team, 17-year career.
But he was one of the best three-point shooters and one of the more underrated scorers around.
In the prime of his career, he spent four seasons with the Sonics. He averaged more than 20 points a game each of those four seasons and it started a streak of 13 consecutive seasons scoring in double-figures.
He's still near the top of the leaderboard in three-pointers made and three-point percentage, and his 19,004 points are 51st all-time.
McAdoo is never thought of as a journeyman, considering he was with seven teams in 14 years.
It's probably because of his resume that this is the case. I mean, you don't see many journeymen who averaged 22 points and nine rebounds a game for their career. McAdoo was a great center in the time of great centers.
And after he dominated the league in Buffalo, he bounced around before finally winning two championship rings with the Lakers.
Barry could be considered a journeyman for bouncing around during the four seasons he spent in the ABA, which puts him on this list. But he also spent most of his NBA days either in Golden State or in Houston, where he was a star.
Either way, it's hard to deny the talent.
He averaged double-digits in points every season of his career and is still near the top in some of the major offensive categories like points, points per game and field goals.
And even with that wacky delivery, he's still considered one of the gold standards when it comes to free-throws.
Webber started and ended his career in Golden State, but there were a few stops in between.
There was the forced trade out of Golden State, the good and bad days in Washington, the oh-so-close days in Sacramento with a loaded Kings squad, the okay days in Philadelphia, the forgettable days in Detroit and the final days in Golden State.
Between that, Webber was one of the best players in the league in his prime, but was never able to take any of those teams to the promised land.
At least he never regretted calling a timeout during that stretch, though.
One of the most dominant players in NBA history a journeyman?
Malone, a great player, Hall of Famer and one of the best centers of all-time, played for nine teams during his long career. But he performed everywhere he went. He averaged 20.3 points per game and 12.3 rebounds per game over his brilliant career, and his mastery as a low post force and a rebounder is hard to top.
But his wandering during his career earns him the top spot on the list.