The Detroit Pistons superstar of the future was listed this week by ESPN’s NBArank, representing the final Piston to be named and breaking the top 50…just barely.
Detroit’s Greg Monroe is listed as #49 in the NBAonESPN’s list that ranks 500 NBA ballers in terms of “the current quality of the player.” It has been an ongoing process via Twitter, stretching out for over a full month now, and while it holds no “official” value, it is still a moment of recognition for the players who work their behinds off to compete at the highest level every year.
Having the Pistons’ electrifying big man listed among the top ten percent of the league is very exciting, but his name was called far too soon.
After just two years in the league, Monroe has begun to establish himself as one of those players other teams do not want to have to match up with. His mixture of size, control, power, and grace make him an easy diamond to spot. An athletic big man who can play Center or Power Forward with equal ease, Monroe is explosive around the basket. He has the ability to face up, or play with his back to the basket, but is most dangerous in traffic, or coming off of the boards.
All of the signs point to the talented young Piston becoming one of the best players in the NBA, but this list is about where the players rank today, and if you consider the state of the franchise, and what Monroe means to his team, it is clear he should have been ranked much higher than #49.
This thought seems to validate itself when just two spots later in the list is Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Tiberwolves, who sat out a large part of last season, his rookie season, with an injury. Rubio was exciting to watch at times, but to say he represents a higher quality player at this moment then Monroe…well, it’s just ludicrous.
Such is the downside to any list compiled via the opinion of others; there will always be those moments when a person finds themselves wanting to righteously rant and rave, defending the honor of a player they feel has been slighted.
#49 out of 500 is not bad, and it beats the heck out of last year’s rank of #132. For now Pistons fans can just be thankful for their guy getting some love, and look forward to Monroe cracking the top 20 when ESPN rolls out the ranks again next year.
Jeff Everette is a Featured Columnist for RantSports.com, covering the NFL and NBA. Follow Jeff on twitter @jeverettesports, like his page on FaceBook, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.