Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis named his three favorite NBA players growing up. The trio in mind included recent Hall-of-Fame inductee Kevin Garnett, Zach Randolph, and Rasheed Wallace.
Each a defining figure of a previous era of NBA basketball, Portis thanks the three for their influence. For those familiar with his style of play, you can see how Bobby Portis resembles his favorite players on the court. Not only does he himself showcase talent, but also a palpable level of grit, tenacity, and hustle. These qualities have an effect that energizes both his teammates and the home crowd at any given moment.
Kevin Garnett, Zach Randolph, and Rasheed Wallace
Kevin Garnett entered the league in 1995, drafted fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite his growth to superstardom, Minnesota struggled to build a credible contender around him. That all seemed to change in 2004. To this day, the best season in franchise history, the Timberwolves won a team record 58 games in ’03-’04. Garnett, leading the charge, took home league MVP honors. They ultimately went down to the Lakers in the West final. Though the Wolves would never again attain such success, Garnett would have his day.
Teaming up with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in Boston, Garnett helped lead the Celtics to the NBA title in 2008. The celebration that ensued was defined by this moment.
Zach Randolph didn’t have as illustrious a career as Garnett did. However, he, too, deserves credit for what he brought to the game. One of the most underrated NBA players throughout his career, Randolph had career averages of 16.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on 47 percent shooting. The foremost stint in his time stemmed from his days in Memphis.
He earned his only two all-star selections with the Grizzlies. The team adopted an identity based on “Grit-n-Grind.” Alongside Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, Randolph helped lead them to their first (and only) Western Conference finals in 2013.
Lastly, we have Rasheed Wallace. Once teammates with both Garnett and Randolph in Boston and Portland, respectively. Wallace’s most memorable days come from his time in Detroit. As a member of the Pistons, Wallace helped make them into a formidable force in the East. They earned five straight conference finals appearances with him, including two trips to the finals. The biggest highlight comes from their championship victory in 2004 over the LA Lakers.