Unveiling the SLAM Top 50 is one of the most time-consuming and exciting projects of the year. And it’s become our tradition as we count down the days until a new season begins.
The 2016 SLAM Top 50 features LeBron James at the top for a record eighth straight season—a feat that may never be replicated again.
And before the comments about Ben Simmons roll in, here’s the full disclosure: When Simmons, who was originally No. 50, underwent surgery to repair a Jones fracture on his right foot, the staff decided to replace the rookie with Thunder center Steven Adams. The 23-year-old had a breakout Playoffs and will be a big part of OKC’s gameplan this season.
And as we like to do at this time, here’s a closer look at the Top 50…
SLAM Top 50 newcomers: Steven Adams (50), D’Angelo Russell (49), Derrick Favors (48), Devin Booker (47), CJ McCollum (42), Kristaps Porzingis (37), Kemba Walker (36), Hassan Whiteside (34), Isaiah Thomas (25), Karl-Anthony Towns (20)
Highest Top 50 debut: Karl-Anthony Towns (20)
Biggest Jump: Giannis Antetokounmpo (+23)
Biggest Fall: Chris Bosh (-25)
Youngest Player: Devin Booker (19 years, 361 days)
Oldest Player: Dirk Nowitzki (38 years, 128 days)
We’d be remiss not to give a big shout out to the SLAM community. We wouldn’t keep doing this without the incredible comments, discussions and even, disagreements (Dame again?!). You’re the reason we put the effort into making the best list we can.
We put the 2016 Top 50 list into the gallery above—a condensed version of the past month and a half. Like it? Hate it? That’s why we made it.