Since tough guy can be interpreted many ways, it's important to reveal the criteria:
even when confronted with bigger, stronger adversaries. Another
qualification is a player's eagerness to attack the hoop even though he
knows he'll be knocked down. On the other hand, under the proper
circumstances, a legitimate tough guy has no compunctions about
flattening an opponent to prevent an easy shot.
Two current Celtics and another player from last year's roster make the cut:
Tony Allen: Getting to the basket is his specialty, even at the potential cost of incurring bruises, sprains and even fractures.
Kendrick Perkins: He plays with a perpetual snarl that mirrors his body-bumping game plan.
Leon Powe: He's another smallish big who believes that basketball is a collision sport.
Perk and Leon are obvious choices, but TA? Yes, he can get to the hoop but "tough" isn't the first word that comes to mind when I'm trying to describe his game.
The softie list includes players like Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Peja Stojakovic, among others. Rosen really missed the boat with this one though:
And here are a couple of phony tough guys — chest-beating, cheap-shot
artists who rarely take on bigger, stronger and/or authentically
mean-spirited opponents: Kenyon Martin and Mikki Moore.
Mikki Moore may be soft, but he's no cheap-shot artist and clearly doesn't belong in the same class as a Kenyon Martin.