Sports Illustrated recently released their list of Top 100 NBA Players for 2014 and I have to admit there have been some rocky reviews.
The most public of criticisms came from OKC’s Kevin Durant who came in at #2 in the rankings. During a recent interview KD was asked who he thought was missing from his top 10 players. Durant’s response was James Harden. He was then asked who should be moved so Harden could enter the top 10 and KD said Dwyane Wade. Wade had come in at No. 8 on the list and Harden at 11.
And the social media throwdown began. Wade came back with this photo of his personal “reminder” for Durant to make him respect his legacy.
What exactly defines a top player in the NBA? Obviously stats are taken into consideration. Who has the highest shooting percentages? Who scores the most points, has the most assists, the most rebounds? Who plays the most minutes? Who has the best defense? But to be the BEST in a league of stars it’s more than just statistics. In my mind it’s the guy who single handily takes his team to the next level by being on the court. He’s THE guy who needs a strong supporting cast to win championships, but leads the way to greatness. He’s not only explosive on offense, but can shut you down on defense during the next possession.
Here are SI’s top 10 players:
In all honesty I agree with KD, DWade is not a top 10 player in 2014 – there’s no way. The guy’s knees are in BAD shape. He didn’t blow and ACL or an Achilles, but his knees are not what they used to be. Also, last time I checked Wade barely played during the conference finals as well as the nba finals and the Heat won their second consecutive championship title just fine.
Where’s Chicago’s main man Derrick Rose? He’s been off the court for a year and coming off an ACL injury, but reports state he’s stronger than ever. Is Russell Westbrook, who also blew his ACL last season, a better point guard than Derrick Rose? Hell no. Also, last time I checked Rose won himself a nice MVP title just a few short years ago something KD, Chris Paul and Westbrook have yet to achieve.
What about Kobe Bryant. He’s 35 and coming off of an achilles injury. Reports are glowing with the miraculous rehab Kobe’s had, but he’s still past his prime. I know better than to doubt Kobe, but I don’t think I’d put him before Derrick Rose at this very moment in time.
Dwight Howard is another ranking I disagree with. Last time I checked the guy had a healthy Kobe Bryant next to him all last season and didn’t do squat. He got shut DOWN by Nazr Mohammed when the Lakers played the Bulls. I’m not trash talking my man Nazi, but he’s not a candidate for defensive player of the year.
AGE FACTOR: Tim Duncan may have stoically made it into the NBA finals last season, but he will be another year older this season. Will Tim Duncan be a better player than James Harden and Derrick Rose. Nope, no way.
If I had to rank, here’s my top 10:
- Lebron James
- Kevin Durant
- Chris Paul
- Carmelo Anthony
- Derrick Rose
- James Harden
- Tony Parker
- Kobe Bryant
- Tim Duncan
- Dwight Howard
The farther you scroll through the list the more questions you have. Check out the full list here: http://nba.si.com/2013/09/20/top-100-players-of-2014-nos-10-1/2/
Who’s your top 10?