On September 22, ESPN dropped us with the first segment of their 4th annual NBA Player Rankings – a deep, moderately mapped out list of the top 500 players measured by their efficiency and overall level of play. The rankings are conducted by a large group of ESPN writers, bloggers and insiders labeled as the “ESPN Forecast Panel”. This gives me a good moment to remind you that this is also the so-called prestigious group in which a substantial fraction of them ingeniously and almost unanimously (God bless you Michael Wallace) ‘forecasted’ the Bulls to beat the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs last year. Other than that, they’re alright.
For Wizards Nation, the immediate thoughts ignited after ESPN released the first batch of rankings (401-500) were, “here we go again. Where will our beloved John Wall fall in the list this time?”
“How will mainstream media torch him with another snub?”
“Oh heyyyy there’s Garrett Temple at #423!!”
We know John has penchant for holding personal vendettas against his critics and often times he’ll vocally channel his feelings about getting overlooked. Hell, he even admitted to us he has a notepad entry on his phone where he has archived a shit list of snubs.
As far as rankings in general go, well, you can love ‘em or hate ‘em, agree with them or don’t, but you know you still take the time to read through them to, if for anything, use them as a scale to measure the public opinion of your sports faves.
Of course, with ESPN as the acclaimed sports media powerhouse, we tend to take these rankings semi-seriously, but certainly far from applying them as a foundation for thought. However, these particular rankings serve John Wall well. As the 18th best NBA player in the minds of ESPN brass, he’s ranked higher than his primary adversary Kyrie Irving and higher than the world’s favorite comeback point guard Derrick Rose. He’s better than Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry. He’s 22 spots ahead of Kobe Bryant.
Wall’s place in the rankings put him three spots ahead of where he landed last year (21) and right in the thick of the top 25, with names like Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan and Chris Bosh trailing him. He’s right above Demarcus Cousins and right below Dirk Nowitzki. He’s in a respectable spot high enough to realize his status as an NBA star, and low enough to piss him off and push him even harder. And knowing John, there’s little doubt we’ll see the latter part of that reaction.
All Wizards Rankings on ESPN’s #NBARank
423 – Garrett Temple
348 – Drew Gooden
295 – Kevin Seraphin
265 – Glen Rice Jr.
260 – Otto Porter
242 – Martell Webster
231 – Kris Humphries
202 – DeJuan Blair
193 – Andre Miller
82 – Paul Pierce
63 – Nene
57 – Marcin Gortat
48 – Bradley Beal