Everyone seems to be upset with the ESPN and Sports Illustrated rankings of NBA players. Well, everyone but the two news outlets who are getting a lot of clicks.
More than one NBA player has taken to social media to shake their fists at the gods of the media. (We had a nice tete-a-tete with CJ McCollum on Twitter the other night.)
But preseason rankings are preseason rankings and mean, well, nothing.
Still, for the Nets, there’s only one top 100 player, D’Angelo Russell, who’s ranked No. 100 on Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 list and No. 83 on ESPN’s list. That’s lower than Lonzo Ball, the rookie who will replace him in L.A., and Brook Lopez, for whom he was traded. That November 3 showdown in Los Angeles looks like fun.
For the record, here’s ESPN’s justification for their ranking of DLo.
Russell gets a fresh start in Brooklyn following a turbulent first two seasons with the Lakers. The lefty did show flashes of playmaking brilliance, averaging over 26 points and eight assists per 100 possessions, benchmarks that, while completely arbitrary, are incredibly rare for a player that young. The only other two players to reach those thresholds by the tender age of 20? Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.
Well, if they are “completely arbitrary,” why mention them, and if they are valuable, shouldn’t he be higher ranked? Never mind.
Jeremy Lin and DeMarre Carroll got sort of an honorable mention in the SI rankings as players who were snubbed. Whatever.
Oh and that weeping and gnashing of teeth you hear emanating from Manhattan, that’s Knicks fans reacting to Carmelo Anthony ranked 64th, just behind Ball. No pressure, kid.