Of all the major professional sports leagues, the NBA is the one that has the most dramatic and television-ready storylines. Part of that is the outsized role that superstars have on the sport compared to other sports, other than quarterbacks in football. The top players are larger-than-life characters, and the discourse often revolves around the superstars instead of their teams.
It’s the perfect Twitter sport, too, as each day you can find hundreds of arguments on Twitter about a range of topics stemming from who is the greatest of all time to who is the best dressed. Fans of NBA superstars love their favorites like fans of musicians love their favorites. And, if you’ve ever experienced music Stan Twitter, you will know how serious that is.
On Tuesday, The Athletic released an anonymous survey of NBA players and their opinions on the league. Let’s look at some of the questions they polled.
The big debate this year for NBA MVP was between Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. But, the players clearly think that Embiid should be the MVP this year, snapping Jokic’s two-year run atop the award.
And, they think that Jrue Holiday is the most impressive defensive player in the league, despite him never having won Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named most underrated player in the NBA by his peers.
The topic of most overrated player is sure to turn some heads. A lot of different answers were given for this one, as Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young came in at 14% as the most-selected overrated player. Twitter will be going nuts over this one.
And, players think that Michael Jordan is the GOAT, rather than LeBron James. That gap has shrunk since the last time The Athletic did the survey in 2019, however. Also, Kobe Bryant somehow got 7& and Tracy McGrady got a vote. Both of those are indefensible.
This coming out during the NBA playoffs is sure to make some noise around the league.