Thursday, May 25, 2006

The A-List

Regular reader (and part-time gadfly) John e-mailed about my last post, asking, "Who do you think is on the A-list?" Fair enough. This isn't complete or even that well-researched, but more or less off the top of my head...

There's the prime A-list consisting of players that almost everybody would agree are worthy of building a contender around. Most of them you just know by their first names: LeBron, Dirk, Kobe, Shaq, KG, AI, Elton Brand, Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, and probably Ben Wallace. Most of these guys have been deep in the playoffs and all are centerpieces for their respective teams.

Then there's a secondary group of guys who are really talented but either haven't taken their teams far enough or are currently hampered by age or injury, so they don't quite make the no-brainer list above. These would be guys like Jermaine O'Neal, Paul Pierce, Tracy McGrady, Michael Redd, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Amare Stoudemire, probably Mike Bibby, and maybe Vince Carter (although to me, he's maybe the king of the B-level players...fairly one dimensional scorer, but he's so damn good at it that you can't help but list him among the league's elite).

There's also a group of guys who look promising but it's too early to tell if they're true franchise players, including: Dwight Howard, Emeka Okafor, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, maybe Carmelo Anthony. Pau Gasol, Joe Johnson, and Andre Kirilenko might also go here if you consider slightly older players, and Zach would fit here too if you were so inclined. I would not list any of the latter group at this point.

Hope that clarifies things a little. Comment on additions/subtractions/mis-categorizations below or e-mail to



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