No List Of The NBA's Top 50 Players Should Include Gilbert Arenas Or Hedo Turkoglu

Sporting News put out its annual survey of current and former coaches, general managers and players in which this collection of wisdom determines the best 50 players in the NBA. This list is typically fraught with peril, and 2010's edition was no exception.

You see, there's a either a massive delay for these basketball old-timers in terms of cognitively understanding when a player has fallen off, or there's a mass movement among these busy and important men to pass off this task -- filling out their SN Top 50 ballots -- to PR staff, interns or household pets.

How else does one explain the inclusion of Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu on the list?

Arenas has hardly played in the last four years. When he has, it hasn't been particularly lovely for the Wizards -- he clashed with teammates over roles last season before being suspended for 50 games following the infamous gun incident with Javaris Crittenton. At his best and most healthy, Arenas has the talent to appear on such a list. The problem is that he is almost four years removed from both. His fall from basketball grace is not new, and has not been subtle.

Turkoglu's drop-off is more recent -- he began to idle in 2008-09, and exploded in flames (the bad kind) last season in Toronto. This year has been more of that. I can find no justification for the Suns to have traded for him, because he is not remotely productive commensurate to his salary. Assuming the SN guru gang isn't concerned with salary, there's still no reason for Turkoglu to be included, especially while talents like Kevin Love and Devin Harris are left off.

At some point, as a basketball fan you have to throw your hands up and ignore compilations like this -- it can only end in frustration, and this is just a game after all. It's not we're arguing In 'n Out vs. Five Guys, or Ulysses Grant vs. George Washington. It's just basketball! But ridiculous opinions are gnawing, and man, a lot of basketball people have ridiculous opinions, don't they?

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