ESPN has decided to fill some of the downtime during the sports hiatus with a fresh look at the Greatest of All-Time debate by ranking the top-74 players in league history in honor of the 74th NBA season.
I'll cut to the chase in the 2nd paragraph here and just tell you that zero true Sacramento Kings players appeared in the top-74.
Vince Carter came in at #55, but his 2017-18 run on the Kings had no impact on his legacy, and Oscar Robertson landed in the 11th spot, but I have a hard time calling him a Sacramento King. I understand his connection to the franchise through the Cincinnati Royals, but he never played in Sacramento.
I don't find the result of ESPN's NBA ranking terribly surprising or insulting, but it's another example of how little success the organization has had to date. God bless the Sacramento fan base for their loyalty. It's been a tough run.
If you're looking for a way to debate this, I'll give you your best shot. Is Mitch Richmond or Chris Webber better than Damian Lillard? I'm using Lillard as the example here because he's the lowest ranked player that's still in his prime today. You should have a fresh perspective on how good Lillard is.
My answer would still be no, but I think it's close, particularly for Webber. If the Glory Days Kings had broken through and won an NBA Championship, he'd have a much stronger argument, but we all know how that turned out.
I'm putting a disclaimer here before my final sentence in case you still have a hard time reading about a certain 6² 7³ wing from Slovenia.
You know who is probably a lock for the next version of this list, and any future NBA All-Time ranking? Luka Doncic. Sorry.
Dame plays so different than Mitch that’s kind of hard to quantify. I do think Mitch brings more to a team than Dame does. I also have Mitch as a better player than Webber was, so I think he is the one where the argument is.
Mitch played defense. Dame…not so much.
+1 If Mitch didn’t have toes, he would be much higher on the list.
If webber’s knee hadn’t exploded in 2003, I think he makes the list. But it did sooooo, gotta give the nod to Lillard for longevity in addition to a similar set of playoff performances (WCF appearance)
also: Anthony Davis is WAAAAAY overrated in that list.
Yeah Davis hasn’t done enough in his career yet to earn that placement. They’re basically giving him that spot based on projection for the future but that’s BS.
Yet, he’s played roughly 60 more games than Bill Walton did in his entire career. And done it at a much more consistently high level. They’re definitely projecting AD a bit here, but I have much bigger complaints than that.
Which complaints are these?
Well, 4 I’ve mentioned to some degree. I think Parker, Rodman, Dominique, and Walton are all way overrated. I think Drexler is significantly underrated. I’m not going to quibble much over the guys from the 50s-70s since I can’t pretend to have any nuanced understanding. Except Walton, of course, who somehow made the list despite only playing 468 games over a 14 year career. And only putting up two seasons where he could be considered among the best players in the NBA. I think Chris Paul is too low. Kobe is a bit too high. Robertson is a bit too low.
That’s just straight up disrespectful…
I agree that Webber and Mitch are the only ones with cases. Mitch I think was the better player in his prime but also was saddled with perhaps some of the worst assembled teams ever. Webb didn’t get a title and then had his prime cut short due to injury (it’s still BS he hasn’t been elected to the HOF yet)
They put a pretty heavy premium on championships. Too heavy IMO. The best example on this list are guys like Parker over Lillard and Rodman over any number of people. Yet somehow “Nique is 10 slots above Dexler, so what do I know?
place holder for stabbie.
“I made the list. Joe, not so much.”
Joe made the “3,071 Greatest NBA Players of All Time” list!
#53 in your program, #1 in my heart.
After seeing that Bradley was able to get Jack Cooley on the podcast, how about getting Joe Kleine on next? I think this is a good way to go–finding ex-Kings to get on the show. I bet many of them would love the love from the fans. Maybe a call-in, if you can do it live? If not, give us a heads up and we can send in questions like how Blake would do it for his interviews.
Kenny Thomas, Harold Pressley (heck, this site is named after him!), Jim Les, Yogi Stewart…………
(I read Joe Kleine is in Colorado now so Greg could go rap on his front door and ask him)
I knew the Doncic reference was coming and yet I still screamed internally when I saw it. The pain just doesn’t go away with that one.
I read ESPN’s “29 Greatest GM’s of Current NBA” list.
Vlade was not on it.
Do not see much of a slight against Webber or Richmond ! A lot of near greats left off and some a bit over rated ( A Davis, T Parker ) come to mind ! Still is a very talented list of players and an opinion !
I was totally okay until I read that last line. Thanks so much, Tony.
Mitch was better than C-Webb.
I doubt any of the so-called experts at ESPN bothered to put up Sim Bhullar’s per-36 career averages against any of these supposed “greatest 74”