S.I.’s NBA Top 10 list causes controversy


SI list is only so-so

Sports Illustrated, do you really believe that James Harden (No. 11), Derrick Rose (12), and Paul George (25) aren’t good enough to be in the NBA’s Top 10? Kevin Durant (2) didn’t agree with it, and neither do I.

I don’t agree with all of K.D.’s comments, but I do agree with half. He said Harden belongs in the Top 10, which is true. Honestly, Harden is hands down Top 5 and arguably the best shooting guard in the league now that Kobe Bryant’s (9) career is declining. I don’t agree when Durant said Dwyane Wade (8) should be excluded from the Top 10 list. 

 Wade is a clear future Hall of Famer, and although he isn’t the main guy on the Miami Heat, at 31, he’s still better than most. 

I disagree with S.I. ranking Chris Paul (3) the best point guard in the league. Yes, CP3 is a great floor general, but he doesn’t have much of an offensive arsenal and he lacks athleticism.  I’m taking a healthy Rose over Paul. If Rose is at full strength like he says, he’s totally unstoppable. 

Paul George is. George is completely underrated and I don’t know why. He unselfishly does just about everything for the Pacers, a team that took the Heat to seven games last year, and he does it efficiently.

Unfortunately, because of injury, Russell Westbrook (5) is out by default. But S.I. had him a little too high up anyway. Westbrook is a top player, but he isn’t Top 5. 

Dwight Howard (8) has a lot to prove, and untill he proves it, he’s not in my Top 10. He hasn’t been the same since Orlando. 



Thumb’s down on list

Just like every basketball fan last Wednesday night, I had a “who did Kevin Durant say doesn’t belong in the Top 10 list?” moment. Watching it over and over on Sportscenter, I’ve come to the realization that Durant wasn’t qualified to comment on that list because number one, he’s ringless and number two, he really hasn’t been great the last two postseasons

Kevin, are you still mad Dwyane Wade stomped you in the finals? Kevin, are you still mad your BFF (James Harden) left for Houston to have a better chance of winning? 

Quite frankly, I think Sports Illustrated’s Top 10 list – along with Durant’s opinion – belongs in the trash. Chris Paul (3) is better than Tony Parker (4)? Sike. Come playoff time, the world saw how viable Westbrook (5) was to OKC. We’re talking about the most athletic point guard in the game who plays defense first, drives the lane as well as anybody and has a killer mid-range. And Chris Paul is better? 

Judging the past two seasons, Dwight Howard is not even on my Top 20 list, let alone best center in the league. And he’s listed at No. 7? Somebody please put Howard on the back of the bus. 

He doesn’t belong on the list in front of Wade (8), Kobe (9), Melo (10). SI created the list based on projections, not reality. What NBA are they watching? 

Ray Charles had a better chance choosing the Top 10 list. As a journalist who buys their magazines, I never thought I would say this, but Sports Illustrated is misbehaving.



Eternal argument

It is less than a month from the start of the NBA season, and anticipation is high following the phenomenal finish to last season. This time of year myriad questions swirl in the mind of an NBA junkie like me. 

Can the Heat 3peat?  

How good will Derik Rose be coming back after a year lost to injury?  

Are the either the Knicks or Warriors really title contenders?  

How bad will the Lakers be?   

Will my Pelicans be any good? 

These are just some of the things I’m pondering going into this season.

When Sport Illustrated released its Point Forward list of the Top 100 players in the NBA, it sparked a lively debate not only among NBA Superstars but also our G’nite staff.  The debate was over one of the oldest questions in sports: Which players are the best? 

I found the list acceptable, but I was a little stunned at the backlash this sort of thing causes.  One after another, everybody made a case for player Y going up the list and player X has no business being that high.  Round and round it went without any consensus being reached on anything.

Therein lies the problem with such a list: Basketball is a matter of taste. It is all subjective. I like this person’s game, and I don’t like that person’s game. I value this in a player more than I value that in another player.

That concludes the philosophical section of this column; now for my critical analysis.  First, I agree with KD, James Harden is definitely a Top 10 player and for my money so is Derrick Rose.  On the SI Point Forward they were 11 and 12, respectively. 

If they’re in, then someone’s got to be out. Tough call because there are a lot of superstars and legends on the list. Injury questions force me to downgrade both Kobe and Russell Westbrook.  The other names in the Top 10 I’d question due to age, Tim Duncan and D-Wade,were both good in last season’s finals.  Let’s look at their numbers: Wade averaged 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 4-and-a-half assists per game, while Duncan averaged 19 points and 12 boards. Oh crap, they both still got it.  

And now to Chris Paul. I couldn’t believe all the desrepect I heard about CP3.  Paul is the best distributor in basketball, he shot efficiently in all areas, he leads, plays defense and is tough/dirty.  CP3 is the rightful No. 3.  

With all that in mind, here’s my completely biased, unscientific list from 1 to 10 with notes:  LeBron James (undisputed king), Kevin Durant (wants the throne), Chris Paul, Derrick Rose (returns to MVP form), Carmelo Anthony, James Harden (last year a superstar was born; what’s next?), Tim Duncan, Tony Parker (not slowing down, he just led France to the European Championship), Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard (still league’s best rebounder, expect big season in Houston).