Los Angeles Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, widely recognized as some of the finest players of their generation, have garnered considerable attention. James, often touted as a candidate for the title of the greatest player of all time, and Davis, an imposing presence on both ends of the basketball court, are expected to find themselves enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame when their careers conclude.
However, an intriguing twist in their narrative has emerged as CBS Sports recently released its NBA player rankings, compiled by a panel of basketball experts, including Brad Botkin, James Herbert, Jack Maloney, Sam Quinn, Bill Reiter, Ameer Tyree, Colin Ward-Henninger, and Jasmyn Wimbish. These rankings offer a projection of players’ anticipated success in the upcoming season, and surprisingly, both James and Davis are positioned outside the top 10, at 12th and 13th, respectively.
The ranking, being a prediction of future performance, carries an element of speculation. Sam Quinn, a CBS Sports analyst, expressed astonishment at LeBron James’ relatively low ranking, raising the prospect that by the end of the forthcoming season, the league’s all-time leading scorer might have outperformed his current placement. As for Anthony Davis, Quinn pointed to his injury history and occasional offensive inconsistencies as contributing factors to his position outside the top 10.
“It’s hard to say what’s more startling: that LeBron James is getting ranked outside of the top 10 for the first time since, probably, his rookie year, or that he could very easily reclaim a top-10 spot when we revisit these rankings in a year.”
Quinn’s viewpoint acknowledges the reasonable concerns surrounding Davis, given his injury-prone past and occasional offensive struggles. Nevertheless, the Lakers have taken steps to mitigate these concerns by securing insurance options in case of his absence. In contrast, LeBron James shows no discernible signs of slowing down, making his 12th place ranking seem rather surprising. Throughout his remarkable 20-year career, LeBron has consistently rewritten the narrative, and as he embarks on his third decade in the NBA, his impact on a contending Lakers team is expected to remain substantial.
“He’s going to miss 25 games or so over the course of a season, and he’s only going to reach his incredible offensive potential in around half of the games he does play.”
via Sam Quinn, CBS Sports
This unexpected ranking for two of the league’s marquee players has stirred debate among basketball enthusiasts. While some see it as a projection based on past performance and possible future developments, others argue that LeBron James’ track record alone should place him in a higher position. As the NBA season unfolds, all eyes will be on these two Lakers stars to see if they can defy the rankings and continue to make history on the basketball court.