The Top Players in the NBA: ESPN’s List, Corrected

ESPN drew attention for ranking the top 100 current NBA players, but their list was a mess. Tavin Carncross has corrected the top 10.

By Tavin Carncross

ESPN is one of the best places to get your sports, from football, basketball, and baseball, to tennis, NASCAR, and even ESPORTS now. But for all their expertise, ESPN recently made a horrible list of the 100 best NBA players in the league. For example, they have Andre Iguodala ahead of Andre Drummond, who has been an almost all-star level player for many years. They also have Demarcus Cousins at 69, behind many worse players like JJ Reddick, Luka Doncic (a rookie who hadn’t played a game when the list was released), and Joe Ingles. So, I decided to make my own top ten to show how dumb their list was and to show how easy getting it right can be.

1. Lebron James

Lebron is arguably the best player of all-time, passing Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Even though he is getting old for basketball, he still impressed us by leading that Cavaliers team to the Finals. He is still the leader of a team in L.A. with Lonzo and Kuzma, along with Ingram.

ESPN’s 1: Lebron James

2. Kevin Durant

Durant is also arguably the best player in the league, but he’s simply not. Durant is an amazing player and, in my opinion, the best player on the Warriors, being able to score in any way, shape, and form. Now he is gaining a defensive presence on the court, having 1.8 blocks per game last year while almost making the all-defensive team

ESPN’s 2: Stephen Curry

3. Anthony Davis

Davis has been in conversations for MVP for many years now, just not getting it due to Russell Westbrook’s triple doubles and James Harden’s amazing season last year. He can score in any way, scoring 28 points per game for the past two seasons. He is also a defensive monster with 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. To me he is close to Durant but not quite there yet.

ESPN’s 3: James Harden

4. (tie) James Harden

Last year’s MVP is doing amazing things with the Houston Rockets, scoring 30 points per game, the leading scorer of the NBA. People said he wouldn’t play well with Chris Paul since they’re both ball-dominant players, but they proved them wrong. The reason he isn’t higher is because he doesn’t have that full defensive aspect like the other players, but he has gotten better. He’s an amazing player but not quite his full potential.

ESPN’s 4 (tie): Durant/Antetokounmpo

4. (tie for 4). Stephen Curry– The two-time MVP and three time NBA champion scored 26.4 points per game while winning his third championship in four years. You may ask, why isn’t he higher? Well, he  played only 51 games last year. He missed a little less than half a season, so he is tied with Harden for me. If he played all games last year and Harden didn’t win MVP, he would be 4th by himself and not tied with him.

ESPN’s 4 (tie): Durant/Antetokounmpo

6. Russell Westbrook

Beastbrook isn’t the best point guard in the league, but he is close, averaging back to back triple double seasons, along with scoring 25.4 points. The only reason he isn’t higher on this list is due to ‘stat-padding’ and trying to be above everyone else while destroying some of his teammates. He’s an amazing player, but I wish he would do more for the team and not lose in the first round to the Jazz

ESPN’s 6: Anthony Davis

7. Kawhi Leonard

This hurts to see this, as I am a Spurs fan, but I think this is a good spot for a two-time defensive player of the year. You must remember before the injury, he was in MVP conversations while leading the Spurs to the second seed in the West and leading them to the Western Conference Finals. He isn’t better than any players above him but he could be lower.

ESPN’s 7: Westbrook

8. Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak is an amazing player, making people watch how amazing he is. His wingspan is huge. I believe he will be higher after this season, but I want to see him develop a jump shot and become a monster. He is already, but I mean bigger. Greek Freak is here to stay for a long time.

ESPN’s 8: Leonard

9. Kyrie Irving

With the best handles in the NBA today, Kyrie is the Ankletaker if you watched him destroy the Lakers squad by himself. He was Lebron’s sidekick but now he’s leading the Celtics, scoring more than 20 points per game for five of the seven years of his career. The reason he isn’t higher up on the list is he only played 60 games last season. Yet this is probably the area he’ll stay around.

ESPN’s 9: Joel Embiid

10. Damian Lillard– Big Game Dame came into the league lighting it up and he hasn’t stopped since. He got on the NBA first team last season and for the Trailblazers to think to trade him is crazy. They got the star for that team. I really don’t have a reason to have him here, but I felt like this was the best spot due to his situation. Also, he helped them to the third seed in the West.

ESPN’s 10: Lillard

Now you can see, basketball fans. ESPN’s list was all messed up compared to mine. I hope they will read this and realize they messed up big time.

Photo: NBA Global Games Beijing by CY Xu on Flickr