by Lang Whitaker

And then there were two.

LeBron, Kobe. Kobe, LeBron.

Like you didn’t know this was coming? Out of all the players in the NBA today, these two guys have established themselves as the two most outstanding players in the NBA. They back down from nobody, and the each, in their own way, have sworn that they’re the best in the business.

Reaching this point has taken a while, and we’ve tallied well over 5,000 comments from you guys along the way. You all have had your opinions, your thoughts, and we’ve taken them into account, believe it or not. Some of you wondered why Baron Davis wasn’t included (the hardest call to make for us — but with his injuries of late we just weren’t sure if he’d ever return to what he used to be). Some of you have asked why Richard Jefferson wasn’t on the list (he’d be number 51, probably). Why was Darko involved? Well, why not?

More than anything, we wanted this list to not only serve as a ranking of today’s best NBA players, but also as a way for us to talk to you and hear who you think is good (and who isn’t). And it has, and it’s been a great way for us to kick off the new and improved SLAMonline.com.

And now we’ve reached the end of the line. Two guys, both coming for that number one spot. Tomorrow we’ll let you know who’s number one and number two (because as soon as we drop number two, you’ll know who’s number one). Today, take a breather, and look back over our Top 50. Were we right? Were we wrong? Probably both, a few times along the way.

Tomorrow, we finish the list. Who will be number one? Guess you’ll just have to wait and see…