Thursday, September 27, 2012

ESPN's NBA Rank Names LeBron James #1 Player -- 9.99 Out of 10

#nbarank -- When someone is rated 9.99 out of 10, you have to ask yourself a couple questions, 1) Is he that much better than everyone else?  and 2) is he an almost perfect player.

I think the answer to #1 in LeBron's case is "yes."  So grading on a curve, he is clearly your #1 guy, he is the epitome of the top of the league, it really isn't close, so he deserves his 9.99.

As a player, is James almost perfect?  Harder question.

Evaluate his skill set:

Ballhandling - 10
Passing 10 (his #1 skill as a player)
Scoring 10
Defending 10
Physical Skill Level (running, jumping, speed, strength, etc) 10
Knowledge of Game 10
Is a Good Teammate 10
Rebounding 10

If you had to find a flaw in his game, you would point to Outside Shooting - probably 8 for his position.  He isn't Ray Allen and his jumper can get kinda balky.

Post Moves - 9 (not perfect, improving)
Driving - 10
Uses Both hands - 10
Free Throw Shooting - probably 8, and has shown improvement, but no Steve Nash

Based upon this breakdown, LeBron is basically a 9.61 player (125 points, 13 categories).  This, interestingly, is about Dwight Howard's score.  But there is absolutely NO comparison in the overall abilities of James and Howard as players.  James is better at 10 of the 13 categories, and is tied in defending, physical skill level and rebounding.   

My conclusion - LeBron does not deserve a 9.99, but he is so significantly better than everyone else that not to give him a 10 would result in the next best guy (Durant) probably getting a 9.0.  And you just cannot have that.


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