UPDATE: Here is Perry’s updated 2009 list of the Top 10 players in the NBA.

10) THE POINT GUARDS: Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, and Baron Davis. I struggled with this list a lot, because all five of these players are deserving to be here. Each one of these players understand and play the point position in a way that makes everyone on their team better. You don’t learn how to play this position. You are born with the unselfish ability to want everyone on your team to excel. Each one of these point guards makes life easier for the following NBA players listed below.

9) KEVIN GARNETT: In his 13th season, The Big Ticket, has been reborn in Boston, leading his Celtic team to the best record in the NBA. The 6-foot 11-inch big man has dominated the East inside thus far (with one exception listed below). Drafted out of Farragut Academy HS in Chicago, Garnett has a 2000 Olympic gold medal and a 2004 NBA MVP under his resume. I list him this low on the list, because he is a little past his prime. It showed the last three seasons in Minnesota when he failed to lead his team to the playoffs.

8. CARMELLO ANTHONY: ‘Melo was the 3rd overall pick in the star-heavy 2003 draft after leading his Syracuse Orangemen to a win in the NCAA National Championship game over Georgia Tech. ‘Melo, statistically, is the most clutch end-of-game player in the NBA right now. Check out these stats that were updated through the 2006 season. I had to do a little research through last season and found out ‘Melo has added five more game-winning shots (don’t quote me) to that tally.

7) DWAYNE WADE: It pains me to put Wade this low, but he hasn’t been healthy the last two seasons. When healthy, he is a top-five player in this league. D-Wade, or Flash as his teammates call him, led his Miami Heat team to the NBA Championship in 2006 and was named 2006 NBA Finals MVP. His Heat team is a mess right now, but Pat Riley mortgaged the future to win it all in 2006. He accomplished that goal, but has left D-Wade nothing to work with. It pains me to see talent get wasted like this, but hopefully the Heat organization will surround Wade with the players he needs or trade him to a team that will know how to appreciate him.

6) MANU GINOBILI: Manu has been part of three NBA Championship teams with the Spurs and led the Argentina national basketball team to the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal, also being named the tournament’s MVP. Manu is becoming one of the NBA’s best all-around players and is best known for his fearless attacks to the rim. As I was writing this article last night, Manu dropped 46 points (8 for 11 3PFG) on the Cavs on 75% shooting and dished out 8 dimes.

5) YAO MING: I realize Yao Ming has never won a playoff series, but this is not his fault. The Houston Rockets are plagued by the "Tracy McGrady Disease." A disease that spreads during playoff time, not allowing his team to advance past the first round. McGrady has never won a playoff series in his 11 year career. The Rockets need to build this team around Ming. He is 7-foot-6 and can touch the rim with his feet still on the ground. Shaquille O’Neal summed up Yao’s abilities right before their first meeting in ‘02 with this statement, "Tell Yao Ming, ching-chong-yang-wah-as-soh." I couldn’t have said it better myself.

4) DWIGHT HOWARD: I hesitate to put him this high, but I only see three other players that I would want more (presently). Three years from now he could be number one on this list. This guy is a monster. Nicknamed "Thunder," Howard was drafted out of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy with the #1 overall pick in 2004. Orlando was criticized for not taking UCONN’s polished power forward, Emeka Okafor with the first pick, but who’s laughing now? Actually, I don’t hesitate putting him this high.

3) LEBRON JAMES: His ceiling has been set so high ever since being drafted out of St. Vincent – St. Mary High School with the first overall pick in 2003. Lebron led a team of scrubs to the NBA Finals last year, which included one of the most memorable playoff performances in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Detroit Pistons. Lebron scored 29 of the last 30 Cavalier points, leading his team to a double-overtime victory. The only knock I have on Lebron is at times he tends to coast with the flow of the game. Unlike the next two…

2) KOBE BRYANT: It took him three years to realize that he can’t win by himself. I was disappointed to see the Shaq/Kobe era end, but it helped Kobe mature into the player he is today. Black Mamba (Kobe’s nickname for himself) has finally developed into the unselfish player that we all wanted him to become. His offensive, killer instincts are second to none, but what is most impressive is that he can play the opposite end of the court with the best of them, being named to the NBA All-Defensive team seven times. In my opinion, there’s not a more exciting player to watch in the NBA.

1) TIM DUNCAN: There shouldn’t be any argument here. Tim Duncan is the cornerstone for the San Antonio Spur dynasty. Two-time NBA MVP and Three-time NBA Finals MVP, Duncan continues to perform at the highest level, dominating the NBA. Any logical basketball connoisseur understands you build a championship team around a big man and nobody has done this better than the Spurs with the Big Fundamental.

HONORABLE MENTION: Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer, Tony Parker, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace, Chauncy Billups, Richard Hamilton & Paul Pierce

THE WHY NO MENTIONS: Allen Iverson & Amare Stoudemire. These are two of the biggest defensive liabilities in the game. They can’t guard anyone one-on-one. Iverson gets picked apart by bigger guards and gambles way too much for steals that usually backfire into an easy two-on-one situation for the opposing team. Stoudemire gives absolutely no effort on the defensive side of the ball.

THE UP AND COMER: Monta Eillis, Golden State Warriors. This kid can play. Drafted (2nd round) out of Lanier High School, Mississippi, Ellis is on an absolute tear right now. He is a smaller version of Manu Ginobili.

About The Author

Perry is a Blast Magazine staff writer. He's usually seen on our Off the Record sports blog.

46 Responses

  1. Mitch P.

    Mike, pretty good take on the playing field, no pun intended. But I think you kind of robbed D. Howard a little bit. Besides being a phenomenal player in-game, he also brings an uncommon level of creativity to the sport:


    The one stunt he does, the mid-air, bounce-off-the-backboard, left-hand-right-hand dunk, that’s sick.

  2. Justin

    wow, i completely agree with this list. I think Kobe should become #1 if he can lead his current teammates to a championship victory this year.

  3. love Guru

    i really think Chris Paul is the best in the league because how small he is he does an excellent job driving inside on the big men. GO HORNETS!

  4. alex

    he must be a spurs fan no way the spurs have 2 players in the top 6 and bt.duncan first please ur a moron

  5. Eminem best ever

    The best players now are
    1-allen iverson ( best ever in: scoring, stealing, running, pentrating, crossing over, clutch etc.
    2-Tim Duncan (can do anything on the court)
    3-Kevin Garnett (doesnt care if he averages 20 points or 2 points as long as he wins)

  6. holyfield

    The Best Ever:
    Rapping- eminem hes back with a vengence!
    Tennis-roger federer forever
    Basketball-Allen Iverson also the most underrated star ever nit just best ever
    actor- way to many
    wrestling- the rock and the undertaker
    boxing- cassius clay, ali

  7. holyfield

    made mistake
    allen iverson is most under rated star ever not just best ever, he is the best forever and always

  8. darian

    iverson is not the best player ever
    iverson is not the best player ever
    he has to do lots of things to become it
    Im totally agree with the list
    Iverson can’t guard anybody an his turnovers per game are the best in the league
    Mike has no similar, you has only towatch him play to understand that he is basketball

  9. bone

    are u guys facken kidding me? mcgrady didnt make the list this a facken joke. no tmac and iverson but u have manu, melo, and wade? u dont know shet about basketball go fack urself.

  10. burnsides

    this is the worst list i have ever seen, timmy d is no longer number 1, kobe is. you cant put jkidd on the same level as cp3, cp3 tore him apart. ginobili isnt better than kg or d wade..or cp3. god you know nothin about basketball man.

  11. slimshady4everbest

    MJ is the best ever but Allen Iverson is in his prime at age 33! Thats crazy, he plays with all sorts of injuiries, and he is 5’11 165 lbs, and is 33, and is still in his prime, and is the best basketball player in the world, an one of the top 5 ever! He is the best evr in categories such as: scoring, stealing, shooting, clutch play, making team better, speed, running, penetrating, drawing fouls, durabilty, stamina, leadership. He is doing all these things better than ever and no one notices. the only reason his stats are down is because he is with a new team, i hope his stats go back to the way they were in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, because he can still do it. and i want to see 25 40 point games every season and at least 5 50 points every season and i want to see him score 100 cause he can and i want to see him average 40 points, 5 steals, 10 assists per game, because he can!!! Allen Ezail Iverson is the best.

  12. rick

    Allen Iverson is the best and will never slow down, in his prime since 29 years of age until present and forever in the future.

  13. John

    You forgot the king of the slam dunk…Amare Stoudemire. Also, we need to look at Raw talent and ability to play, not just rings.Tim Duncan’s yera this year is an abberation.Don’t expect it nect year.

    .With that said, Lebron is the best player in basketball, and Kobe is a close number 2.

  14. Daniel Lucisano

    good list………….a few mistakes i hav to say…………i dont think ginobili shuld be at six………….maybe better at nine or ten………………..but tim Duncan over KOBE!! That can never change…..tim duncan is definately the best NBA player…………….the creator of this list is most probably a san antonio fan……….but great list………im a Spurs fan but im not saying this because i want TD over KB but hey…..he is better than him………. i think TMAC should be on the list

  15. flip lostt

    wat the fck??

    cp3 at 10 with baron davis?

    wtf happened to danny granger and devon harris???

    tim duncan and ginobli????
    the worst floppers in the NBA

  16. Dan

    Not a bad list I like Duncan towards the top because your right about him but not 1 I don’t think this is my take on the top ten talent wise/game changers
    1 Kobe – he’s just so unstoppable offensive and defensive he is a stud and the guy u want the ball to have when the game is on the line
    2 dwade – might get some flack here but besides his injury year he was the best around also he had the best finals performance of all time better than Jordan I anyone ever. That performance showed how he can beat teams by himself and also I the olympics he was the best player with all these guys on his team .3 cp3 – best point guard to enter the NBA in decades does everything amazing talent.
    4. King James – he could be 3 as well but this is where he landed. Clearly one of the best many say he is but tons of hype and lots of excuses I mean swept in the finals ? Then it’s blamed on team and his team has never been all that bad.
    5. Dwight Howard- second coming of shaq a pure monster if he could only shoot free throws
    6. Paul pierce- queit killer on a team of allstars always seems to get the job done
    7. Tim Duncan – could be Higher been a savage his whole career and has the hardware.
    8. Dirk – consistent and lethal inside out 7 foot jump shooter yikes.
    9. Brandon roy – a game changer who takes over games late very good in all aspects huge basketball iq
    10. Kevin garnett- just a beast plays with heart and can kill u from anywhere on the court.

    Honorable mention- j Kidd, tony Parker , al Jefferson , amare, carmelo

    Now to all the guys crying about no ai, tmac, vince carter ? U guys suck plain and simple. Because those are 3 of the most selfish OFFENSIVE players ever and don’t ever WIN because of it so plz shut up cause they aren’t in my top 20 and Detroit trading for ai was maybe the dumbest move ever

    But great list bud I liked it just Sharing my thots

  17. adelin

    hey koby
    lest get to work man
    lebron is getting better than u man!!!
    ur fucking guud man!!
    ur better than him but if u dont get to work his going to be better then u!!!!!!!!!

  18. Avi

    dude wat up with tim duncan up top.nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nooo hellno when i talk about the top 10 no one even thinks about him. i am a huge fan of lebon ut iwoud have to say kobe is a little better, but in atleast 2 yeas lebon il dominate the game. maybe even be called the next MJ

  19. Nick

    I realize that this list is over a year old now, but even for last year it’s pretty horrendous. Josh Howard honorable mention? Jason Kidd and Steve Nash being mentioned with Chris Paul and Deron Williams? Manu Ginobili in the top 10 at all? I’m sorry but this is bad

  20. zach

    MANU GINOBILI in the top 10?!?!?! OMFG!!!!


    those are the top 3 players in the league BY FAR, not even up for debate.

  21. Eva

    first of all, you spelled dwyane wades name wrong so at least get that right. but i totally agree with y’all

  22. tomski

    dan, your list kills it. definitely need to include pierce on the list, The Truth is the league’s finest serial killa. only thing i’d say is switch d-wade with duncan or james

  23. ron

    these are not even close to the best top ten brandon roy is so much better then carmelo he f****n sucks alot he is so old and roy is in the top ten easily he scored 52 points a game b***h.

  24. Young lebron23

    Let me tell the world somthing..Lebron james is the best player alive in the world today. Yall put Tim Duncan number 1 when he got dunked on by Lebron James. It should be Lebron, Kobe, Wade, Dwight, AI, Chris Paul, KG, Derick Rose, Darrin Williams, and VC..And take barrin davis out cause hes no where compared to cp3 and derrin williams or AI. So mike you got it wrong..Fix it!!!!!!!!

    • J.d

      You are honestly STUPID!! lebron #1???? JUST BECAUSE HE DUNKED ON TIM DUNCAN?! YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING! it just shows your a typical hodlum with no education..and AI, at #4…ya the guy who warms the bench and is like 40 years old..your an idiot…anyone who says kobe isn’t #1 in rediculous!

  25. Adam

    Ok this was obviously made by a spurs fan there’s no way TD is number 1. Here’s a better list: lebron, Kobe, dwade, Dwight Howard, KG, dirk, Nash, chauncy, TD, Yao

    Not on list:
    tmac-sure he’s pretty good but nobody ever sees him play cause he’s alwase hurt
    iverson-i don’t even know why everyones complaining, he’s not really that good Detroit was great until they traded chauncy for iverson, which proves chauncy is better

  26. John

    I’m in no way a lakers fan or a Kobe fan that being said there’s no way tim Duncan is better than Kobe, the only player in the NBA who matches kobes talent king James

  27. Marvin Walker

    I disagree with this list in alot of ways but mostly Y in the world is t-mac not on this list. I understand he has a problem staying healthy but look at wat the guy does when healthy. Watch he gone come back and show everybody wats really gud.


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