For the last few years, ESPN’s website has decided to rank NBA players 1-through-500. Ultimately, it’s a silly exercise, though we understand what it’s like to be hard-pressed for content and intrigue in the dwindling weeks before NBA training camps open. After all, this is coming from the man that wrote this.
Last year’s list was topped by LeBron James, and bottomed out by Eddy Curry. Golden State Warriors swingman Kent Bazemore, at the time a unheralded perimeter worker probably assumed to be training camp fodder by ESPN’s voters, finished 499th on the list. Considering that there are 30 NBA teams and 450 available roster spots, this probably came off as an affront.
This is why Bazemore has the number “499” stitched into the tongue of his shoes, a nod to those that thought he was 49 spots worse than the worst potential NBA player heading into 2012-13. CJ Fogler glommed onto the screengrab on Monday:
This is fantastic, and typical for someone who first gained notoriety for his marvelous sideline celebrations – celebrations so good that they’ll be immortalized in video game form this fall.
Bazemore already made waves during Summer League action for utilizing his massive wingspan on his way to a nasty throwdown in a Golden State win over Dallas. The Warriors won the NBA’s inaugural Summer League tournament on Monday with a conquest over Phoenix, but perspective has to be in place – the MVP of this particular final game was Ian Clark, who dropped 33 in the title game with his white-hot three-point shooting, and he’ll be merely hoping to receive a camp invite this fall.
Bazemore managed over 18 points in 30 minutes a contest during Summer League play, though, good numbers for a Warriors team that will continue to look for size in the backcourt even after shipping Brandon Rush to Utah on its way to securing Andre Iguodala for a hoped-for run past the second round. Kent made the All-Summer League First Team, as announced by the NBA, while hopefully earning the right to sneak into the 470s later this summer for the good folks that rank such things.
Or, perhaps, we could just not rank players this time around?
After the win, via his Instagram account, Bazemore gave what he called his "Jordan pose."
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