Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 1/5/13

The names of the starting lineups (starting 5) and head coaches are announced before the tip to every NBA game. It is a custom that has been part of the NBA for a very long time, possibly since its inception. The only other custom before a game more noteworthy is the performance of the national anthem. Things get more personalized as the college name or hometown of the player is also given a mention. It is an honor for players who have paid their dues to not just make it onto an NBA roster, but to be part of the first ’5′ on a team. The Sixth Man of the Year award has been an annual award in the NBA since 1983. The award is a prestigious one given to a player who is first coming off the bench and making a big impact for his team. Should NBA Sixth men also be announced before games with the starting five? One more shout out in pre-game intros couldn’t hurt. James Harden, ’12 winner How about a compromise? Former Sixth Men of the Year who still come off the bench get the shout out. This way Ben Gordon (’05), Mike Miller (’06), Leandro Barbosa (’07) and a few others get to tell everybody their hometown or university they attended every game. This year’s crop of top ‘sixth men’ are mostly guards. Some are previous winners. Here are the top 6 Sixth Men who will battle for this year’s award. #1) Jamal Crawford Former award winner (’10). One of the slickest crossovers and back crossovers in the League. Partly responsible for why pundits are saying Clips have a chance to win it all this season. #2) J.R. Smith Doing it in the limelight of NYC. Also, he is known for the occasional awesome slam dunk in addition to the killer 3s. #3) Manu Ginobili Former award winner (’08), still doing it after all these years for the Spurs. 12 points, 5 assists per game is pretty good, but it’s the whole package of what he does on the court. He’s still a game-changer. #4) Jarrett Jack Helping bring Golden State back to respectability. Great off the dribble to create own shot or assist for others. #5) Kevin Martin Part of OKC machine that rarely lets up on the competition. He is a solid contributor who is reliable from 3 point range and playing team ball. #6) Ray Allen Greatest 3 point shooter of all-time is a threat from the bench. Teams have to adjust to the Heat again the moment he steps on the court. Other notables are another former winner, Antawn Jamison (’04) of the Lakers, who has been a somewhat stable part of an unstable LA crew. He’ll need to do a lot more the second half of the season for consideration. Gordon Hayward of the Jazz could jump up on the list the Jazz make the playoffs. ***** Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com The post The NBA’s Top 6 Sixth Men … Plus a Radical Idea To Make Pregame Intros More Fun appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.

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