I thought that this discussion might be a little fun: CNN/SI has posted a (ranked) list of the top-100 NBA players today. I don't have any huge gripes, but could quibble here or there. But a top 5 of James, Howard, Wade, Dirk and Kobe seems reasonable to me.
We've got, by my count, three Dukies in the top-50, but none in the top-40. The best former Duke player in the NBA today? --- They have Carlos Boozer, then Luol Deng and Elton Brand. I was glad to see Battier make the top-100, if only barely, but thought we'd see a couple others, such as Magette. Grant Hill at 76 was good to see too. One thing for certain, this certainly shows how much better Duke has been in recent years in sending good players to The League, versus NC.
I clipped the top 21 just b/c no. 21 is someone who reportedly was interested in Duke about five years ago. I expect to see Kyrie up there next year!
21. Kevin Love PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
20. Carmelo Anthony SF, New York Knicks
19. Amar’e Stoudemire PF, New York Knicks
18. Steve Nash PG, Phoenix Suns
17. Kevin Garnett PF, Boston Celtics
16. Manu Ginobili SG, San Antonio Spurs
15. Paul Pierce SF, Boston Celtics
14. Blake Griffin PF, Los Angeles Clippers
13. Zach Randolph PF, Memphis Grizzlies
12. Russell Westbrook PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
11. LaMarcus Aldridge PF, Portland Trail Blazers
10. Pau Gasol PF, Los Angeles Lakers
9. Derrick Rose PG, Chicago Bulls
8. Kevin Durant SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
7. Deron Williams PG, New Jersey Nets
6. Chris Paul PG, New Orleans Hornets
5. Kobe Bryant SG, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Dirk Nowitzki PF, Dallas Mavericks
3. Dwyane Wade SG, Miami Heat
2. Dwight Howard C, Orlando Magic
1. LeBron James SF, Miami Heat
I'm not sure when the fallacy of Duke doesn't produce pros will finally end. I love how UNC fans hang on to MJ, VC, Sheed, and Jamison b/c after that its pretty bleak. Yes, they will always have MJ and nobody can take that away but I never heard a Tennessee fan bring up Peyton Manning in every discussion granted I don't talk to many UT fans but I think the point is pretty valid nonetheless. Between Hill, Battier, Brand, Boozer, Shelden, G, JJ, Dunleavy, Jones, Maggette, Duhon, McBob, and Deng, there aren't many if any schools who can produce a list that is better.
The only school that really can compete with both the depth and quality would probably be the team with more pros in UCLA. Between Ariza, Collison, Westbrook, Holiday, Farmar, Afflalo, Barnes, Luc Richard, and Love, the case could probably be made but even then, I'm sure you could argue Duke has a better crop when you consider Ryan Hollins, Kapono, Gadzuric, and Earl Watson.
UK doesn't have the depth after Wall, Rondo, Prince, Cousins, Chuck Hayes, and Bledsoe. UNC is UNC. Uconn only has Rip, Rudy, Ray Allen, Gordon, Caron Butler, and Okafor. Arizona actually has some good depth with Arenas, Bayless, Bibby, Budinger, Frye, Hill, Igoudala, Richard Jefferson, Jason Terry, and Luke Walton. So perhaps you could compare them with Duke but again, you could probably argue either way.
Kansas actually has a worse track record in the past few years of producing any NBA players who have lived up to potential. After Paul Pierce, you have what Mario Chalmers who barely played over Bibby or Nick Collison/Drew Gooden. Texas has some nice stars with Durant and Aldridge but after that you get Augustin and Daniel Gibson.
So it appears that only a few schools, most notably UCLA and Arizona can even enter the discussion about having the best pros. I know this was discussed ad nauseam but I just wanted to actually look it all up.
Give me CPaul, DRose, Durant, Griffin, and Amare (or maybe KLove) and I'll take on your Bron-Bron, DWade, Dwight, Dirk, and Kobe starting five. The real matchup problem is Howard -- not sure anyone in the league can guard him one-on-one.
-Jason "fun list, thanks for posting" Evans
Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk
Boozer in his prime was definitely better than Deng has been. But if it's a "where are we right now" situation, I'd take Deng.
glad to see deron williams get the credit he deserves
If you swap Rose or Paul with one of Wade/James/Bryant, you'd have an interesting game. But I think the Paul/Rose/Durant/Griffin/C combination is just too small.
I love Garnett, but as we look into the 2012 season there's no way he belongs in the top 20.
“Those two kids, they’re champions,” Krzyzewski said of his senior leaders. “They’re trying to teach the other kids how to become that, and it’s a long road to become that.”