They are not superstars. They don't lead the league in scoring, or go to the All-Star game, or hear their names bellowed by the announcer at the start of a home game.
But no team is complete without one.
The role of sixth-man is one of the most important positions a player can occupy on an NBA team. Although the starters have always gotten most of the glory in the NBA, no team can succeed without a deep and cohesive bench unit with a sixth-man to lead it.
The Dallas Mavericks proved this by defeating the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. The Heat had assembled one of the most dominant big-threes ever, and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh looked ready to win their first title together.
And they would have had it not been for the outstanding play from Jason Terry and the rest of the Mavericks' second unit.
Although Dirk Nowitzki was undoubtedly the star and leader of the Mavericks championship squad, the play of Terry and J.J. Barea was equally critical in tearing Miami's defense apart on the way to victory in six games.
Although Barea was extremely valuable for the Mavericks in the playoff run, the honor of the sixth-man role belonged to Terry, as each team can only have one. If you find that one of your favorite bench players has missed the cut, keep that in mind.
Without further ado, here are the top ten sixth-men in the NBA.