Sports Illustrated released their top 100 NBA players just before Christmas. Damian Lillard was surprisingly not in the top 10, coming in at 12th place.
Each year, media outlets like Bleacher Report and ESPN released their NBA player rankings. This year in late December, Sports Illustrated released their top 100 players in the NBA.
Surprisingly, Damian Lillard was ranked outside of the top 10. SI had him all the way back at the 12th spot.
Though these rankings don’t mean anything on the court, or in reality, in the world of the NBA, it’s confounding that Lillard would be ranked out of the top ten.
He was the most prolific and devastating player in the 2020 season, and no player did what he did in that season with such a weak roster.
When considering the other 11 players ahead of him, names such as Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid were ranked higher.
Embiid has never made a substantial playoff run like Dame and hasn’t had the longevity or efficient production that Dame has in recent years. Jokic may have made the conference finals in 2020, but he didn’t put the Nuggets on his back as Dame did.
Also, when the last All-NBA team was announced, Dame was on the second team with Chris Paul, leaving him firmly in the top ten.
Some of the gripes with Dame being a top ten player in the league, are that he has never made the NBA Finals or won a title.
Lillard got one of the weakest NBA teams to the playoffs in 2020, averaging 30 points a game. He is firmly a top ten player in the league.