OKC Thunder In the news: Westbrook, Anthony make SLAM top 100 list

Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder players existing and former get some love from SLAM Magazine Top 100 NBA player list.

Top 100 NBA Players:

Considering the OKC Thunder franchise just played their first decade the fact four existing or previous players made SLAM Magazine’s top 100 list is impressive. The two existing OKC Thunder players who crack the list are Russell Westbrook (37) and Carmelo Anthony (95).

It’s no surprise Kevin Durant (13) and James Harden (60) also made the list.

The list was released in different segments with 100-51 dropped first followed by the players ranked 11 – 49. Finally, each of the top 10 players were released individually to pay homage to the ballers SLAM consider the ten best to ever lace them up.

For those curious who the top 10 are:

Notably only one active player makes the top 10 and after the beat down he put on the Toronto Raptors Thursday night, he only served to add to his legacy. Until he wins numerous rings in a row he won’t supplant my GOAT Michael Jordan, but that’s a story for another day.

No. 10: Larry Bird
No. 9 Tim Duncan
No. 8: Wilt Chamberlain
No. 7: Bill Russell
No. 6: Shaquille O’Neal
No.5: Kobe Bryant
No. 4: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
No. 3: Magic Johnson
No. 2: LeBron James
No. 1: Michael Jordan

How the list is compiled:

The list was compiled by a panel of voters ranging in age. They represent a broad spectrum who are intimately involved in the sport. For those with a penchant for the older era of basketball you might be disappointed as many of the forefathers of the NBA either failed to make the list or ranked much lower than they should.

"Among those whose experience is on the court, we’ve got a Hall of Famer, a current NBAer, a current WNBAer, an NCAA stud/rookie-to-be and a top high school prospect. Off of it, we’ve got people who cover the sport for a variety of platforms—television, newspapers, books, social media—plus a basketball-obsessed celebrity and a single vote to our edit staff. The group of individuals span just about every age demo and all approach the game a little differently."

Here’s a look at what SLAM had to say about the four players, two current and two previous members of OKC.

Carmelo Anthony 95:

The antics of Carmelo Anthony this past week has left a bad taste in most OKC Thunder fans mouths. Still for Anthony to make this list is a major accomplishment. Perhaps it provides insight into why OKC added the star to the team this past summer.

Known for his scoring ability Melo made his name in Denver prior to moving on to New York. The years in the Mecca began well but petered downward as the team failed to surround Melo with appropriate support.

Still, to make the list is an accomplishment and one Anthony should be proud of.

"In late January 2018, Carmelo became the 21st player in NBA history to score 25,000 points, joining Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James as the third active player to reach that milestone. Over the course of 15 seasons, Melo’s showcased why he’s one of the most elite scorers the League has ever seen."

Russell Westbrook 37th: 

As for Russell Westbrook it’s no surprise he makes his mark on the list. What is surprising is where he ranks. Arguably, he could’ve placed much higher. And, in fairness the panel will likely raise his presence on the list in the next selection. At the time the panel was voting it was early in 2018. So, Westbrook’s second consecutive triple-double season average had yet to be accomplished. SLAM notes it in his commentary, so expect that to resonate in the next go round of voting.

"How do you capture the brilliance, essence and ferociousness of Russell Westbrook in just a few short sentences? Let’s try this: TWO-TIME SCORING CHAMP! 2017 MVP!! ARCHITECT OF PERHAPS THE GREATEST INDIVIDUAL SEASON EVER! FIRST SINCE OSCAR TO AVERAGE A TRIPLE DOUBLE (AND HE DID IT TWICE)!!! STYLE ICON!!!!"

Kevin Durant 13th:

Save your tears Thunder Nation. The fact this athlete played his prime years on an OKC Thunder court will always be a source of pride for Oklahomans. Odds are Durant won’t be happy he failed to crack the top 10. Watch for KD to do something special this postseason especially if he ends up facing LeBron James (2) again.

"More from Thunderous IntentionsStealing one player from every Southwest Division team for the OKC ThunderShould the OKC Thunder chase after a disgruntled hometown hero?3 OKC Thunder players who can step up in Aleksej Pokusevski’s absenceAleksej Pokusevski sidelined approximately 6 weeks with ankle injuryDamian Lillard does not fit with the OKC ThunderKD hasn’t even hit his 30s yet, and his résumé already makes him a lock for the Hall of Fame. He was a four-time scoring champ even before he joined the modern day dynasty that is the Golden State Warriors, where he added the hardware that ought to cement his place among the greats to ever play the game."

James Harden (60):

The other OKC Thunder former player who cracks the list is James Harden which is also not surprising. Harden’s 60th rank seems a tad low. But, the bearded man has yet to be handed the MVP hardware he’ll surely collect this summer. Moreover, how he performs in the postseason will likely affect how much higher in climbs in the next go round of voting.

"As a Sixth Man of the Year playing third fiddle in OKC behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, James Harden needed a change of scenery to reach his full potential. As the face of the franchise in Houston, The Beard’s been an All-NBA First Team performer three times, and is the favorite to win his first MVP trophy in 2018. Yeah…he’s just now entering his prime."

Again, to be a franchise with just a decade in the Association and find 4 players on this list is a major accomplishment. In comparison, the Raptors who have double the tenure are represented by Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady (the latter whose main contributions can be aligned with Orlando and Houston). The point is this is an impressive accomplishment for the franchise.

Conversely, it also summons sad feelings over the fact three players ranked 60 or higher are still in the league. Thinking about where this team could be if the original OK3 were still in Oklahoma could drive a Thunder fan crazy. Instead let’s just revel in the fact Thunder Nation had the privilege of witnessing these players as members of our team.

Next: Westbrook 2017-18 season more than just triple-doubles

That’s it for in the news, May 4. Check back tomorrow as the team of Thunderous Intention scribes continue to serve up news on your favorite team.