As the sports world gears up for the 2021-22 NBA regular season, the customary "Top Players" lists are beginning to surface. The storied publication, Sports Illustrated, published its Top 100 Players list and has stirred up conversation and critique. 

LeBron James couldn't retain the vaunted title of "Best Player in the World" after injuries derailed the Lakers' regular season, forcing them to face eventual Western Conference champs, the Phoenix Suns, in the first round. In LeBron's absence for the Finals, Giannis cemented his legacy by defeating the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns en route to an NBA championship. 

However, it was Kevin Durant who SI concluded was the league's best. KD is a two-time NBA Champion with two Finals MVP awards, 11x All-Star, and a regular-season NBA MVP trophy. Durant demonstrated the gap between his skill level and Antetokounmpo's despite losing to Giannis in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Some of the other notable players to break the Top 10 include Kawhi Leonard (10), Luka Doncic (6), and Steph Curry (4). 


SI Top 10 NBA Players Going into 2021-22: 

10. Kawhi Leonard

09. Anthony Davis

08. Joel Embiid

07. James Harden

06. Luka Doncic

05. Nikola Jokic

04. Stephen Curry

03. LeBron James

02. Giannis Antetokounmpo

01. Kevin Durant