The Where's Waldo All-Journeyman Team
For this team I wanted to determine who were the best NBA journeymen of all time.
Naturally this would have to start with a definition of what a journeyman is and which players would qualify. Allan Iverson, for instance, recently said he is "starting to feel like a journeyman" after his trade to the Pistons, the third team he's played for in his 13-year career.
Okay, so Iverson's played for three teams, and nobody (other than himself) would consider him to be a journeyman. How about four teams? Well, Shaq would qualify under those terms—but if I ever had the courage to call him a journeyman it wouldn't be to his face.
So is the number of teams the best barometer to use? How about five teams? According to data available through databasebasketball.com, there are 3,800 players (prior to this season) who have ever laced up their sneakers for an NBA (or original ABA) game. Of those, 517 played for at least five different teams.
To play for five teams in a standard NBA career, you'd have to be a journeyman, right? But looking at that list of 517, I was surprised to find some of the all-time greats that bounced around the league, perhaps on name-value alone, long after their best playing days were behind them.
For instance, three time MVP and Hall-of-Famer Moses Malone played for a whopping nine teams! (Atlanta, Buffalo, Houston, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Washington in the NBA, and St. Louis and Utah in the ABA). By the time Bob McAdoo's illustrious career was finished, he'd been on seven teams. Rick Barry played for six. But if anything, these guys were franchise players, not journeymen!
So in the end I decided to simply go by team count. The greatest journeymen were those players who were willing to play anywhere, anytime, for anyone. Whatever team was willing to give them a roster spot, that's where they'd lay their hat for the night. These were the guys that were always invited to the wedding, but never invited to the marriage.
Captain - Tony Massenberg
The player in every team photo that even the coaches couldn't identify, Massenberg suited up for a whopping 13 teams in a 17-year span, amassing an average of 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. (Boston, Charlotte, Golden State, Houston, the Clippers, Memphis, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, Utah, and Vancouver.)
C - Otis Thorpe
Thorpe muscled in 14 points and 8.2 rebounds on average for nine teams.
PF - Len Chappell
No relation to the skinny comic (or is he?), Chappell put up 9.3 points and 5.1 boards for 10 teams.
SF - Tyrone Corbin
Everybody's favorite Tyrone, Corbin scored 9.2 points along with 4.7 boards for nine teams.
SG - Jimmy Jackson
Jackson almost flirted with NBA stardom before bouncing around to 12 different squads. Still, he put up very respectable career averages of 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.
PG - Rod Strickland
Narrowly edging out Kenny Anderson in the starting lineup, Stickland wore 10 different jerseys, and averaged 13.2 points and 7.3 assists for his career.
G - Kenny Anderson -- Nine teams, 12.6 pts, 6.1 assts.
F - Aaron Williams -- 10 teams, 5.8 pts, 3.9 rebs.
G - Damon Jones -- Still active, has an outside shot (no pun intended) at Massenberg's record. 10 teams, 6.7 pts, 2.8 assts.
F - Chucky Brown -- 12 teams, 5.9 pts, 3.1 rebs.
F - Mark Bryant -- 10 teams, 5.4 pts, 3.8 rebs.
G - Randy Livingston -- The king of the 10-game contract, Livingston has spread his career 203 games played over nine different teams, putting in 3.8 points and two assists per outing.
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