For years, DTB fans (and even DTB himself) have struggled with the question: who is too good to appear on the channel? Who is on “the list”? Now, for the first time ever, “the list” has been codified and the doubt can be eliminated. With the NBA regular season fast approaching: I present to you:
OFFICIAL NBA PLAYERS TOO GOOD FOR MY CHANNEL POWER RANKINGS (REALLY MORE LIKE “POWER GROUPINGS”)
THE EXCLUSION LIST
OFFICIAL NBA PLAYERS NO LONGER TOO GOOD FOR MY CHANNEL POWER RANKINGS
THE RE-INCLUSION LIST
POWER GROUP 1: SUPERSTARS
LeBron James – This is obvious. A player who has a legitimate claim at GOAT Of All Time status has no place in these hallowed halls of scrubs. LeDecline has got to be coming any season now, but he will have to be LeDeclining for several seasons before he is washed-up enough to start receiving DTB videos. (“DTB” stands for “DownToBuck”; future uses of this acronym will not be explained.)
Stephen Curry – The one reason I would ever want to make highlight videos for this dude is if it meant that all the Stephen Curry-themed novelty YouTube accounts from three years ago would come back. I spent all my days watching DawkIns’ videos and wishing that “Chef Curry With The Shot Boiii” and “Queen Stephanie Lurry” would troll my videos instead of his.
Kevin Durant – You know, everybody placed way too much emphasis on championships, and then when Kevin Durant decided he was going to go get some, everybody changed their tune and said that championships only matter when they involve adversity and competition. I personally do not take championships into account AT ALL when ranking players or summarizing their career accomplishments, so I am fully blameless in this entire situation. That said, Durant is just way, way too good for my channel.
James Harden – Recent MVPs do not receive DTB highlight videos. It’s just that simple.
Russell Westbrook – I feel like there’s an alternate universe where Chucksell Statpadbrook doesn’t chuck as much and doesn’t statpad as much. In that universe, Westbrook is on the fringe of DTB eligibility. We do not live in that universe. We live in the statpad universe.
Anthony Davis – Fun fact: I made 11 total Anthony Davis highlight videos his rookie and sophomore years. Then he was a beast so I stopped. Right now I am stunned at how fun that fact was. Not so fun fact: those videos are deleted now and I don’t know if I’ll ever get them back.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – This one is kind of sad because I had a REALLY GOOD multi-year storyline going with him and smoothies and Rachel the smoothie girl and best friend John Henson. Now it only gets one update a year when I make the Giannis dunkilation.
Kawhi Leonard – It’s kind of sad to think about, but, depending on how badly his injury affected him, Kawhi could be the first player in POWER GROUP 1 to become eligible for highlightage courtesy moi. We will see as the season plays out. Fun fact: I made 7 Kawhi Leonard highlight videos before he was added to the official exclusion list.
POWER GROUP 2: STARS (don’t get mad at me for not including your favorite player in power group 1, I honestly do not care what your opinions are right now)
Kyrie Irving – My first-ever “breakout” video was of Kyrie scoring 40 his sophomore year. Young DTB was amazed by the view counts that were amassed. Now Kyrie has graduated from my channel, but I will forever be thankful to him for bolstering my fledgling channel.
Damian Lillard – I was so very, very wrong when I called Damian Lillard “Brandon Jennings 2.0”. That’s a real quote. Sometimes I’m happy that my old channel got deleted. [reminder to self: scrub downtobuck.net of this quote before posting this power ranking]
Paul George – I’m going to admit it: I still sorta think that Paul George is a “fake star” who happened to be “the man” on a few Pacers teams, a circumstance which allowed him to put up enough counting stats to trick the NBA fandom into thinking he had done something to deserve that offensive freedom. Still, he’s too good for DTB, fake star or not.
Karl-Anthony Towns – KAT is clearly far and above the maximum talent threshold of my channel, and he would be even further above it if his coach actually ran the offense around him and made him take twenty shots a game.
Chris Paul – Not a scorer on the level of some of the players around him in this power ranking, but has been a consensus top-3 PG in the league pretty much since he was a rookie. Top-3 players at their position do not receive highlight videos.
DeMar DeRozan – DeRozan was one of those guys who, even when he sucked, I never made highlights for. I just didn’t like him. Now I have a reason for not making videos for him that is slightly more defensible: his PPGs just have too many P’s.
LaMarcus Aldridge – For some reason, on March 8, 2013, I made exactly one (1) Aldridge highlight video. What was I thinking? This guy has been a scoring stud of the highest level ever since I started my channel. Okay, not the highest level, but a high level anyway. Other highlight videos made on that date: Khris Middleton Career High 14 points for the Pistons, Brandan Wright 14 points for the Mavs, Suns-era Michael Beasley 24 points, Eric Maynor 20/6 for the Blazers, and Derek Fisher 13 points for the Thunder. But you don’t get to watch those videos.
Joel Embiid – One of the rare players that graduated from my channel before the end of their rookie season. I now have an OFFICIAL ROOKIE EXCLUSION POLICY that covers talented rookies: if they become an All-Star their rookie year, they’re a no-go, otherwise I keep them around for the entirety of their rookie season.
Gordon Hayward – We’re just assuming that Hayward will still be a star player even after the Bad Thing happened.
Kemba Walker – Like Lillard above, I’m pretty sure I called Walker anywhere between Brandon Jennings 0.7 and Brandon Jennings 1.5. To be fair, he wasn’t all that good for his first couple seasons. Now he’s pretty much a beast.
DeMarcus Cousins – Officially excluded from my channel based on previous high-volume stats, however, if his role on the Warriors is diminished and his injury hampers him (it shouldn’t, you can’t lose athleticism when you had none to start with), he could make a surprise re-entry.
Victor Oladipo – It took multiple thirty-point games in a short time period last season for me to realize that Oladipo is way too good for my channel. How was I supposed to know he would average 23 PPG? Damn.
Bradley Beal – Another situation where I had a great storyline going, but I couldn’t justify continuing it when the player in question started averaging 20 PPG. Will Beal ever score with Denise? Has his job gotten easier or harder in the absence of Gortat’s well-intentioned meddling? Maybe we will never know.
Devin Booker – This dude Was fourth in the league in field goal attempts per game. Does that sound like a player who should be on a scrub-themed highlights channel? No.
Jimmy Butler – Somehow, Butler became a star without me really realizing it. One day, I was making highlight videos for him, the next day, he’s the consensus top dog on the Bulls. As of this writing he is still demanding a trade from the Wolves, but it’s unlikely that a trade would change his situation so much that he suddenly becomes eligible for my much-sought-after highlights services.
John Wall – I called him a bust so many times. Sorry. If he was really a bust I would still be making videos for him.
Klay Thompson – His winshares/48 were below .100 last season, but still, twenty points per game is twenty points per game. That’s all there is to it.
Blake Griffin – We’re just gonna go ahead and keep Griffin in POWER GROUP 2 even though his status as a surefire star is in doubt. He will always take enough shots to put up star-esque numbers.
Kristaps Porzingis – Does Jesus Krist’s ranking here even matter? When he is gonna play again? If you are reading this in the future and Porzingis looks like garbage after his ACL tear, please do not time-travel back to the present time to tell me about it. I don’t wanna know.
Ben Simmons – I am HAPPY about Simmons being too good for my channel. His constant barrage of triple-doubles was an inescapable burden for me, except it wasn’t inescapable because I just escaped from it.
POWER GROUP 3: FRINGE STARS
CJ McCollum – Pure scoring-only guard who simply scores too many points to be on my channel. If he just toned down his usage I could totally keep making vids for him.
Khris Middleton – This one hurts. I want more than anything to continue making videos for Kha$h Money Deuces, showing the world that he is an elite offensive talent. However, players falling under the category of “elite offensive talent” are, as a general rule, disqualified from my channel. The painful blow is somewhat lessened by the fact that Budenholzer probably won’t allow Middleton’s Middrange to shine as much as it did last season, so Kha$h’s performances will be missing a certain aesthetic quality.
Kevin Love – Thank you LeBron for marginalizing K.Love so hard that he got demoted all the way to POWER GROUP 3. Now Love has his own team again and can put up monster counting stats while leading the Cavs to, at most, 33 wins.
Lou Williams – I was already kinda-sorta ignoring Lou “Two Chicks at the Same Time” Williams before last season, then he went out and averaged 22 PPG for the Clippers, so now I feel all smug and justified.
Donovan Mitchell – Normally I would say that being ROTY of the year would automatically disqualify Mr. Mitchell, but there’s two problems with that: one, he wasn’t even ROTY of the year, and two, Malcolm Brogdon was ROTY of the year and he’s not nearly good enough to escape from my dungeon of scrublights. So I have to find another reason to disqualify Mr. Mitchell. How about “he’s the savior of the Jazz and will probably average 25 PPG this season on middling efficiency”?
Jrue Holiday – This dude is excluded from my channel out of pure spite. Do you know how much time I wasted on his thirty-point games and his ten-assist outings last season? Way too much. Get out of here, Jrue.
Mike Conley – I don’t know about this. Conley’s never even been an All-Star, but he did average 20/6 in his last full season. I’m too lazy to look up what his injury was but it meant he only played twelve games in the 17-18 season. He could come back a shell of his former self. I am so conflicted right now. Why can’t somebody make these decisions for me?
Kyle Lowry – Raptors fans will get butthurt about anything so they definitely will have get bootyblasted over Lowry being down in POWER GROUP 3. I should put him in POWER GROUP 8: THE OCHO for the laffs.
Tobias Harris – The time has come to release Tobes from the chains that bind him to my channel. Ever since the Bucks drafted him (and then traded him for a J.J. Redick rental that worked about as well as you’d expect), I’ve been seriously attached to my beloved Tobey Bear. However, I reserve the right to start making videos for him again if the major highlights players neglect him like they have been prone to do in the past. [note to self: proofread again when vision is not obscured by tears]
POWER GROUP 4: NOT EVEN STARS
Tyreke Evans – I’ve been on-again, off-again with this guy his whole career. You would think that a player who averaged 20/5/5 his rookie season would quickly cement himself as unworthy of DTB highlights, but the Kings and the Pelicans combined to ruin his career, and I could never figure out how good he actually was. Then he beasted it up in Memphis so, boom, no more Tyreke highlights.
Andrew Wiggins – Wiggs regressed when Jimmy Butler came to town, but he didn’t regress to the point where I could make highlights of him again. Except he kinda did. Regardless, I’m standing my ground on this one.
Goran Dragic – Got a pity All-Star appearance after a bunch of injuries to other East All-Stars. Even though the All-Star berth was unjustifiable, it confirms by decision to exclude Dragic from my channel.
Draymond Green – I pray to God every day that Draymond decides he wants to play for another team and thereby gets exposed as a non-scoring Joe Ingles lite who can only succeed when placed in one of the greatest shooting-based offenses of all time. I also pray for worldwide peace and understanding among all peoples, but the Draymond thing definitely is first on the prayer list.
Zach LaVine – He’ll be the man on the Bulls and chuck hella shots, but any injury-related decline could necessistate an emergency re-inclusion.
Harrison Barnes – Averaged 19 PPG for the past two seasons, but nobody even seems to think he’s good. Still, he’s out.
Al Horford – Points are what I care most about and Horford doesn’t really score that many of them thanks to the preponderance of scoring options on the Celtics. I wonder if he’ll get any more pity All-Star selections like he did last season. I was this close to adding him to my “highlightable” list.
POWER GROUP 5: CENTERS
Rudy Gobert – Not a big-time scorer, but a big-time win-shares collector. As with all low-scoring All-Star centers, it’s hard to determine what the minimum number of points is for them to get a video. That’s the main reason why players like Gobert are excluded.
DeAndre Jordan – A perpetual All-NBA team member and FG% leader shouldn’t even be in the DTB highlights conversation, but he kinda is because he’s never even averaged 13 PPG in a season.
Clint Capela – I really didn’t want to do this. I love the Capellmeister. But he is, realistically, better than other centers that I (fairly or unfairly) exclude from my channel. Farewell my man. I’ll miss being able to type “/7 Dunks” in the titles of my videos.
Andre Drummond – I’m still feeling the residual effects of Drummond’s second year in the league, where he averaged 13/13 on 62% shooting. He’s only gotten worse since then, but my thinking hasn’t adjusted to match this new reality. My rationalization is this: he’s still the league leader in rebounds. I don’t even care about rebounds but there you have it.
Hassan Whiteside – This entry assumes that Whiteside actually plays this year and isn’t totally replaced by Bam Adebayo. If he’s relegated to a bench role, this will be revisited. Also, I don’t know what Snapchat is so that had no bearing on my decision.
Dwight Howard – As long as he plays like he’s the number one option on the team, I’m going to exclude him from my channel like he’s the number one option on the team. If this attitude changes during his Wizards stint, my attitude may have to change as well.
OFFICIAL NBA PLAYERS NO LONGER TOO GOOD FOR MY CHANNEL POWER RANKINGS
Marc Gasol – Even when he was a consensus “star” (notice scare quotes), I always considered the pudgier Gasol brother to be a fringe DTB candidate. Now he’s old and declining and moving further away from the fringy areas.
Eric Bledsoe – Is he a star? Is he not a star? It’s hard to tell with Bledsoe. If he averages 20 PPG like he has shown to be capable of, he’s back on the list. The exclusion list. And the list of players that LeBron wants to work out with this summer.
Eric Gordon – Nobody really considers Eric Gordon a star. He’s just a good role-player who hoists up threes with the best of them (making them is another story). I don’t even have a reason why I wasn’t making videos for him. Just didn’t want to, I guess.
Rajon Rondo – This is risky. Rondo can put up insane assist numbers on occasion, and as everybody knows, I hate assists more than anything. I’m playing with fire here and I think I’m gonna have third-degree burns over 70% of my body when all is said and done.
Jabari Parker – That 20 PPG season was a mirage.
Carmelo Anthony – His ill-fated stint with the Thunder proved once and for all that he is washed. So washed that you could blast him from a foot away with a power-washer and not dislodge any additional dirt. That’s how washed he is.
Dwyane Wade – If he wanted to stay off my channel, he should have done more ‘roids. Whatever ‘roid regimen he’s on, he would have had to double it. Plus extra trips to shady eastern European “rejuvenation clinics” in order to receive experimental ‘roid treatments.
Paul Millsap – Thrillsap is another one of those dudes where I never knew what his DTB status was. Am I making vids for him? Am I not making vids for him? I never knew, and I never really wanted to commit to an answer in case I was making the wrong choice. Well, the day has come. I’m committed to committing to this. And my commission is this: Paul Millsap is OFFICIALLY eligible for appearances on my channel.
Rudy Gay – In retrospect, has Rudy Gay EVER been too good for my channel? Win-shares say not really, fans of his former teams say not really, and All-Star appearances say not really (he doesn’t have any LOL). Now he’s not even a bigtime scorer. Welcome to the club, fam.
Isaiah Thomas – Uh oh. I’m getting sad now. This guy went from “definitely getting a max” to “might not be in the league” all thanks to some stupid unfair injury. I hope it doesn’t hurt Thomas’ feelings too much when he searches for his highlights on YouTube and my logo pops up.
Tony Parker – It took the dissolution of the Spurs’ big three and Parker’s status as the last man standing to realize that I probably should have been making his highlights for years. My sincere apologies to the people of France and all French Overseas Territories.