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The Sporting News Top 50 NBA Players: Where Boston Wins As A Team

Paul Pierce: #14 to them but #1 in our hearts.
Paul Pierce: #14 to them but #1 in our hearts.

The Sporting News recently released its list of the "Top 50 NBA Players". The selections were made by a panel of 76 current and former players, coaches, and GMs (including Robert Parish and Doc Rivers), so allegedly it is a pretty solid reflection of how the NBA community sees these players.

In that regard, I think this poll nailed it. Individually, no Celtic cracked the top 10 (despite 2 top 10's last season, KG and Pierce), and fittingly, Kobe Bryant was given the #1 spot for the second year in a row. Individually, the Celtics are not world-beaters, according to this poll.

However, as a team, no club had a better showing than the Boston Celtics. The Celtics had the most players in the top 50, at five, and coincidentally the five selected is the Boston Celtics' current starting unit. To summarize, the Celtics are ranked as good but not great as individuals, but as a group they account for the best collection of talent in the entire poll.

Click the Jump to see where each Celtic placed, and some fun facts about the poll.

 Celtics' Individual Rankings


Player Overall Rank Last Year's Rank Position Rank


Paul Pierce 14 10 3rd SF


Rajon Rondo 16 38 4th PG


Kevin Garnett 20 7 5th PF


Ray Allen 25 27 6th SG


Shaquille O'Neal 35 16 4th C

Some General Info

-The Celtics were the 12th team listed...or, 12 other teams had a player better than the Celtics' best player.

-Shaq is the lowest paid player on the list, further cementing that Danny Ainge is a God.

-The last team to get a mention was the Bobcats, where Gerald Wallace was number 49.

-The Celtics placed first with 5 of the 50 selections. The Hawks, Lakers, Heat, and Spurs all placed second with 3 a piece.

-The only teams with no selections were the Kings, T-Wolves, 76ers, Clippers, Raptors, and the Pistons.

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