Lebron James' status as the number one player in the league is no longer debatable.
ESPN has finally concluded their summer long NBA player rank countdown by revealing their top 10 players in the NBA today. The question is, ‘did they get it right’? Many analyst and fans on twitter had varied opinions on which players should, and should not, have been ranked in the top 10. Let’s take a look at the rankings and see if ESPN ‘got it right’.
1) Lebron James: 9.99
Lebron James’ spot as the number one player in the NBA is no longer debatable. He simply is the best player in the game-- no questions asked. And if anyone disagrees, they either they do not watch enough basketball or continue to hold a grudge, because Lebron is playing a different game than everyone else. The only issue I take with the rankings would be the score of 9.99. Sure Lebron is great, but is he really the perfect player? If Lebron is a 9.99 how to you rate the rest of the all-time greats?
2) Kevin Durant: 9.70
There is no shame in being named the second best player in the NBA behind Lebron James. The scary thing about KD is that he still has so many things to improve on, and if the kid can stay healthy he may have one of the finest careers in NBA history. Again, Kevin Durant at the number two spot is not really debatable.
3) Dwight Howard: 9.58
Now this is where the rankings get tricky. Howard is a fantastic player, and a defensive monster, but at times struggles on offense and cannot be on the court during crunch time because of his poor free throw shoot. Many of his faults will be masked because the Lakers have so many weapons to rely on, but Howard at number three is definitely open to debate and depends upon what you value most in a player. Chris Paul or Kobe Bryant could easily have been ranked in the number three spot without any complaint.
4) Chris Paul: 9.52
Chris Paul’s ranking as a ‘top five player’ is dead on. He is definitely not one or two, but there is no way he should be lower than five. CP3 is a fanatic player and is the perfect example of what a floor general should be. He may not do one particular thing better than the rest of the great NBA point guards, but is the most well rounded of the group. There should not be any debate about Paul being the best point guard in the league.
5) Derrick Rose: 9.02
Derrick Rose is a terrific player and has the talent to be in the top five, but he was hurt last year, so it’s hard to justify putting him so high.
6) Kobe Bryant: 8.88
In Kobe’s mind he’s still the number one player in the league, and that confidence is what makes him such an outstanding player. But there is nothing wrong with being the sixth best player in the league-- it’s a testament to his work ethic and desire to keep his body in impeccable form. This ranking for Kobe seems about right, the three to six spots are all interchangeable, so this ranking seems fine.
7) Kevin Love: 8.86
Kevin Love is truly an exciting player to watch, especially for fans that understand the game of basketball. Grabbing 30 rebounds isn’t the most flashy thing in the word, but NBA fanatics appreciate everything Love does on a nightly basis and it’s great to see him recognized with a number seven ranking.
Wade had a poor year by his own standards and probably should not have been in the top 10
8) Dwyane Wade: 8.77 Dwayne Wade had a poor year by his standards, and placing him in the top 10 feels more like a gift than an actual ranking. Dirk Nowtizki had a sub par year and was kicked out of the top 10 so the same should have been done to Wade. 9) Russell Westbrook: 8.76 Russell Westbrook is one of those players you either love or hate, but there is no denying that the OKC Thunder point guard is a force of nature. Having Westbrook at number nine seems dead on, even though I would have loved to see Deron Williams ahead of him.
10) Deron Williams: 8.69 Deron Williams has always been a great player and the number 10 ranking perfect. Williams will have a chance to move up on this list if he can turn the Nets into a serious contender in the coming season