Who Are the Best in the NBA?

After watching last night’s amazing Clippers’ win over the Golden State Warriors, one thing that I had been thinking about through the whole series was how in the world was Klay Thompson ever considered to be one of the NBA’s best? In LA we hear that all the time, but it is largely because his father is the Laker’s color guy on radio and is co-host of a radio talk show. To him, his sonny boy is the greatest player in the league, and other commentators on the station nod robotically in agreement. After watching this series, I have confirmed my opinion that he likely is not in the top 50 current NBA players. Query: How could a 6′ 7″ guy in 72 minutes of playing over the last two games pull down only ONE rebound? He also shot 32% in those games.

Thinking about this, and also thinking about how the basketball world still considers the ego-man, Deee-Wight Howard, an asset to his team, got me to consider ranking the league’s REAL top players, and what better time than as when the first round of playoffs is coming to a close, with keys players like Howard and Thompson showing how over-rated

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they are, and with such great up-and-comers as LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan showing just how good they are. Other than due to injury, the list of my top 20 includes only two players who are on non-playoff teams, Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony.

Injuries have been consider in these rankings. A healthy Kobe Bryant would be number one, still ahead of both LeBron James and Kevin Durant. With his wasted season and advancing age, he has
now dropped down to number three. Derrick Rose is a top-ten for sure if healthy, but will he ever be healthy again? Injuries have dropped Tony Parker, and age has dropped Tim Duncan. Age and injuries have dropped Kevin Garnett out of the top 20. Paul Pierce was once a top 20, but no more. Dwyane Wade has also dropped due, for him, to a really mediocre season.

NBA’s Top 20 Players:

  1. LeBron James
  2. Kevin Durant
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Chris Paul
  5. Russell Westbrook
  6. Kevin Love
  7. Tony Parker
  8. Blake Griffin
  9. LaMarcus Aldridge
  10. Stephen Curry
  11. Tim Duncan
  12. James Harden
  13. Dwyane Wade
  14. Dirk Nowitski
  15. Derrick Rose
  16. DeAndre Jordan
  17. Damian Lillard
  18. Carmelo Anthony
  19. John Wall
  20. Manu Ginobili

Pretenders, not on the list:

  1. Dwight Howard
  2. Klay Thompson
  3. Paul George

Not quite a top 20:

  1. Chris Bosh
  2. Joakim Noah
  3. Pau Gasol
  4. Al Jefferson

NBA’s Most Underrated Players:

  1. Russell Westbrook
  2. DeAndre Jordan
  3. David Lee
  4. Manu Ginobili

One more small group: Players who with the experience of one more solid, injury free year who I would then expect to see crack that top 20:

Anthony Davis
Eric Bledsoe
Kyrie Irving

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