Ok, folks. It’s that time of the year again, where everyone begins to speculate about the upcoming NBA season. Of course, this is America, and in this wonderful country, people are obsessed with rankings and lists. So, naturally, ESPN – one of the world’s biggest sports conglomerates – has found a way to take advantage of that by coming out with an annual top 100 ranking system to determine the best player in the Association. The 2019 edition of the ESPN NBARank has quite a few surprises that has the internet going bonkers. Most notably, LeBron James is not ranked as the No. 1 player in the NBA for the first time since the rankings came out. What other players were snubbed on this year’s list? And which stars were ranked too high in 2019? Continue reading to check out my biggest ESPN NBARank top 100 disagreements.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
2019 ESPN NBARank: 3
2018 ESPN NBARank: 1
As mentioned above, the King himself, LeBron James, is not ranked as the best basketball player on the planet anymore. Of course, after an unprecedented run to eight straight NBA Finals as a member of the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, James’ new team – the Los Angeles Lakers – was unable to reach the postseason in 2018. With that being said, LeBron was forced to miss a large chunk of games during a crucial stretch during the regular season that caused the Lakers to fall out of playoff contention. This is the first and most glaring example on this list of ESPN taking team success into consideration a bit too much. The two players ranked above LeBron – Kawhi Leonard & Giannis Antetokounmpo – were on winning teams last season. One won the NBA title, and the other was on the team with the best overall record in the league. Is it fair to assume that they are on the same level as James? Sure. But in my opinion, James has earned the acknowledgment of being the best basketball player in the world until he shows that he cannot keep up. That is not the case just yet, so this guy needs to be bumped back up.