XII: C Stanley Roberts (1997-98)
GS 44 | 17.9 MPG | 6.2 PPG | 0.0 3P% | 4.9 RPG | 0.4 APG | 0.3 SPG | 1.0 BPG
If you recall the play of former Minnesota Timberwolves center Stanley Roberts, not only are you pushing 50 years of age (or older), but you have a mind like a steel trap. Roberts was another center who was an attempt by the Timberwolves front office to find someone, anyone, who would be compatible with PF Kevin Garnett.
To be fair, Roberts was trying to compete after suffering a serious Achilles Tendon injury in 1994-95. At that time, an Achilles Tendon Injury ended careers, particularly those of football or basketball players. Both sports require a great deal of planting the foot, pivoting, starting, stopping, and pushing off. Because it places so much stress on the ankle, many athletes simply were unable to return to competitive play after that type of injury.
Roberts gave it his best effort in the 1997-98 season, appearing in 74 games and starting an incredible 44 contests. He had never started in more than 14 games since 1993-94, and would not for the rest of his NBA career, which ended in 2000.
He was certainly big enough to play the part, standing 7-foot-0 and weighing 285 pounds. He was one of the few players on this list that Kevin Garnett actually had to look up to. For his part, he was a bit underwhelming, but he did manage to score some points and haul in some rebounds. But he was sorely lacking in some areas. He struggled to sink free throws, shooting just 48.1 percent from the free-throw line.
He would play just two more seasons for two other NBA teams. While his heroic return from a devastating injury is noteworthy, he simply was not the same player after his injury.