ESPN’s Top 100 Players list keeps stirring the pot. After all the situation with Klay Thompson and Zion Williamson, we learned today that LeBron James isn’t the highest-ranked player on their list.
They revealed the top 10 players for this season, but this time they only did it until the third spot, where the King was sitting, ahead of James Harden on the number four and James’ new teammate Anthony Davis, who completed the top 5. This marks the first time that LeBron isn’t considered the best player in this top.
The only two players remaining to be named are Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard. It’s not a shock that some people believe that LBJ deserves the top spot of the ranking, but for ESPN’s Max Kellerman, Giannis and Kawhi are better than James at this moment, so there is no reason for him to be atop of the list. When asked where he believed LeBron belonged, Kellerman said:
“Right where he belongs is 3 right now. Exactly where he belongs,” Kellerman said on First Take. “I’m not talking about career accomplishments, I’m talking about right now. You’re evaluating a football player, baseball player, basketball player, whatever it is, and you talking about them right now, you know what the scouting report says? The scouting report is not respectful, the scouting report says the truth about these guys."
After that, Kellerman went on to explain how LeBron has changed his style of play, limiting his intensity on defense to favor his offensive, playing smarter as the years went by. Knowing how great LeBron is, Kellerman made it clear that the 3x NBA champion won’t be the same guy he was a couple of seasons ago.
“In the meantime, what happened? Kawhi Leonard destroyed the whole universe. Kawhi, I said going into that series against Giannis, this will determine the best player in the game. You know why Giannis is hungry right now? Because Kawhi ate his lunch. Grown men business. Kawhi was so much better than anybody else in the playoffs, except for a healthy Durant, that was close. Still, give the edge to Kawhi. Defensively, one of the greatest to ever did it and then all of a sudden his offense is almost matching that? Champion Kawhi Leonard, Finals MVP for the second time Kawhi Leonard? Kawhi is the reigning and defending best player in the game until proven otherwise, and that includes LeBron James.”
Kellerman is right with his claims. If we talk about actuality, there is no better player on earth than Kawhi Leonard right now. Yes, LeBron still managed to put up some good numbers last season, but the things Leonard did, winning it all against all odds, ending the Golden State Warriors’ dynasty, you have to give the man all the credit.
We don’t know if the King will reclaim his spot as the best player in the league next season, but right now, he’s not the best baller in the NBA.