Workers across the United States took a figurative bow on Monday as their contributions to the economy and society were recognized on Labor Day. In that spirit, there is no better time to celebrate the athletes who show a similar hard-working spirit.
No professional athlete will ever be mistaken for the low-wage factory worker, given minimum contracts that still guarantee six-figure salaries. But a few players go about their work as though they would be just as happy grabbing a lunch pail and doing their dirty work for pennies. We would not advise that, of course, since hustle players tend to do a lot of damage to their bodies in a relatively short amount of time. Still, their willingness to sacrifice their health is admirable.
Ranking players based on who works the hardest is touchy and complicated, so we won't try that. Kobe Bryant works on his game with maniacal zeal, but he was also blessed with an immense amount of talent that many players were not. Instead, this list takes a look at the players who truly get by on hard work, and who without that hustle simply would not be the same.
Thumbnail via Facebook/Tony Allen