Each year, before the beginning of every basketball season, ESPN unveils its rankings of the top players in the NBA.

 

While top spots usually remain the same every few years or so, there is always that surprising “snub” that gets talked about almost every year.

 

A couple of years ago, it was Kobe Bryant who was on the wrong end of the rankings when ESPN ranked him the 92nd best player in basketball in 2015. Now, although Kobe was entering his final year and had clearly dipped from consideration as one of the top players on the planet, a distinction he held for most of his career, to put him all the way at 92 was a real slap in the face for everyone involved.

 

Whether you’re Kobe, fellow NBA players or just an NBA fan, we all know that there’s no way on earth that 91 players were better than Kobe, even in that final season.

 

The rankings are released to drum up buzz for the upcoming season. With football just starting and taking over the sports world and baseball entering its playoff stretch, basketball is put on the back burner until the season officially starts in mid-to-late October.

 

Therefore, ESPN tries to do it justice during this “down” time by releasing these rankings and fueling some type of conversation.

 

Before we get to Melo, let’s first go over who they have as their top five.

  1. LeBron James
  2. Kevin Durant
  3. Kawhi Leonard
  4. Steph Curry
  5. Russell Westbrook

 

It’s safe to say that this is a relatively safe top five, give or take maybe one or two guys. Most fans and experts alike would agree with this top five. LeBron is still the best all around player in the world while KD is right behind him now especially after his Finals performance. Leonard is regarded as the best two way player in the NBA while Westbrook and Curry are considered the two most exciting players to watch in basketball.

 

(UpRoxx)

Now, looking down the list, all the way at number 64 is one Carmelo Anthony.

 

If you watch basketball, you would know that Melo is still one of the most lethal offensive talents in the game. Almost impossible to guard one on one, Melo’s addition to any contender would definitely put them in a even greater position.

 

Now, I understand that Melo’s tenure with the Knicks has left a lot to be desired in the win column. However, this is an individual player ranking which means that you’re ranking these players based on their personal performances over their team’s performance. There’s no way that a player with Melo’s caliber should be sandwiched between others like Lonzo Ball (just a rookie), Eric Gordon and Patty Mills.

 

While Ball is unproven but projected to be a star, Gordon and Mills are good role players in this league, not perennial all stars who can be the number one option on most teams.

 

Melo is coming off a 22 points, 6 rebound and 3 assist per game year which is better than many of the players ahead of him.

 

Although he is currently on a bad team, that doesn’t diminish the talent level of Melo, who put in the right situation can deliver the goods for any contender out there and provide a huge threat that other teams need to game plan for.

 

We really can’t sit here and truthfully say that players like Patrick Beverley, Jae Crowder, and Steven Adams are better and more dynamic that Carmelo Anthony. We just can’t.

 

I’m not saying he should be in the top 10 or even top 15, which is arguable. We can definitely make the case, however, that he belongs in that top 20-30 range for sure because I think any things higher than that will insult the talent that Melo possesses and the true impact that he can make on a good team.

 

Do you think Melo was snubbed with the 64 ranking? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.