The NBA playoffs were supposed to begin this past weekend. It feels like yesterday when we were free to roam the streets and appreciate the best bucket-getters in the world who were dominating the hardwood every night. The world has stopped and in a time where we desperately need to get lost in hoops more than ever, players are stuck at home just like us. For two guys who fully embrace the glorious soap opera that is the NBA, it's been tough to cling onto front office transactions for days at a time out of sheer necessity for anything basketball-related. That's when Ralph and I, Martian, decided to fill the hole that the suspension of the season has left.
We hopped on a FaceTime call and sorted the top-10 NBA players since 2010. After deliberation and plenty of Basketball Reference, we compiled a list that we're satisfied with. There's a chance you won't agree with us; let us know your thoughts (@ralphpolojames and @jackmartian). We're also back in the podcast studio so make sure to listen to The Fro and The Flow and Run It Back on Burbs Radio.
10. Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Damian Lillard (2012-2020): 24 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.3 STL/BLK
43.6% FG, 37.1% 3PT, 88.9% FT, 21.9 PER
2013 Rookie of the Year, 5x All-Star, 4x All-NBA
Martian: Damian Lillard is one of, if not the most, underrated superstars in the NBA. When it comes to getting buckets, Dame is among the best ever with the 20th-best career points per game (24.03). Dame has kept the Blazers in contention throughout his eight-year tenure, often silencing offseason doubters who place Portland outside the playoffs. He also has two of the biggest playoff shots of the decade with series-clinchers against the Houston Rockets (2014) and Oklahoma City Thunder (2019). Dame's unwavering loyalty to Portland adds to his legacy as he's proven that he wants to build a contender with the team that drafted him, even when trade rumors emerge.
9. Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets)
Kyrie Irving (2011-2020): 22.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.7 STL/BLK
46.6% FG, 39% 3PT, 87.7% FT, 22.2 PER
2012 Rookie of the Year, 6x All-Star, 2014 All-Star MVP, 2x All-NBA, 2016 NBA Champ
Ralph James: Kyrie Irving, the most prolific ball-handler and shot maker in the NBA today, but has developed a reputation as a chemistry disruptor over the last three years. While that may be the case, that doesn’t subtract from his eye-popping talent that leaves hoop connoisseurs with basketballgasms on a nightly basis, nor his accomplishments that will be etched in history books. Kyrie hit one of the three biggest shots of the 21st century in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals and was the second most important player on that championship roster next to LeBron James.
If it weren’t for Kyrie’s role as the glorified Robin to LeBron’s Batman, there wouldn’t be a championship banner hanging in Quicken Loans Arena. Don’t believe me? Ask LeBron what it was like to have Kyrie as his primary sidekick in the Finals instead of Matthew Dellavedova. Irving’s best days may be behind him considering injuries, but he’ll forever be an absolute problem in 1-on-1 situations and as a spot-up shooter until the day he retires.