Sports Illustrated released their Top 100 NBA players of 2022, ultimately highlighting why they believe Kevin Durant is currently the best player on Earth. Revised and put out yearly, SI’s list represents the greatest players in the NBA who are going into the coming season; it does not reflect a player’s “career arcs” or projections going forward. Every year, the list sparks debate and controversy amongst fans across the basketball community, for the ‘snubs’ left off of the list and the ‘stars’ remaining on it. This year should be no different.
Edging Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, who occupy the number two and three spots on the list, respectively, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant is further establishing himself as one of basketball’s greatest. Falling just short of the Eastern Conference Finals last year, the two-time NBA Champion and Finals MVP, 11x All-Star, and NBA MVP award winner Kevin Durant no longer warrants much question atop this list.
Across the list, 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic finishes at the number five spot, one spot ahead of Dallas’ rising superstar Luka Doncic. Kawhi Leonard (10) falls due to injury, Memphis’ ascending star guard Ja Morant (25) skates ahead leading his team to the playoffs, and Devin Booker (16) rises after carrying his team to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993.
Hawks’ star guard Trae Young (17) vaults ahead of last year’s 29th finish, as he helped take his team to the Eastern Conference Finals in just his 3rd NBA season. While three-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert (21) of the Utah Jazz, saw his rank drop from last year’s 16th place finish.
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Some snubs left off the list also include 2x All-Star and 4x NBA Rebound Leader Andre Drummond, 5x All-Star John Wall, and NBA Champions Kevin Love and Danny Green.
Check out the complete top 10 below:
Kawhi Leonard Anthony Davis Joel Embiid James Harden Luka Doncic Nikola Jokic Stephen Curry LeBron James Giannis Antetokounmpo Kevin Durant
Do you agree with SI’s assessment?