Before we get to the meat of this list, let me just say that I apologize for the delay in getting this season’s version of the exclusion list written. It was supposed to happen during the off-season, but then I burnt myself out writing descriptions for -ilations, so I put it off. And put it off. And put it off. And now it’s December and I can’t put it off any longer or I risk never getting it done at all. Nobody’s really complained about the list’s absence, but I still feel guilty.
The plus side of my tardiness is that I now, more than a month into the season, have an even clearer picture of which players should be eligible for my channel and which players should not be eligible for my channel. This list now is informed by real life facts and not just the fake facts that I make up in my head (most people would call them “speculations”).
With that said, I proudly introduce to you:
The OFFICIAL NBA PLAYERS TOO GOOD FOR MY CHANNEL POWER RANKINGS
(but it’s actually “power groupings” because there’s no point in ranking each player)
THE EXCLUSION LIST
plus extra bonus content
A LIST OF PLAYERS WHO ARE REGRESSING
THE RE-INCLUSION LIST
Let’s get started!
Power group 1: superstars
LeBron James – If the quality of LeBron’s play corresponded to the quality of hairline, he would have been a DTB regular six years ago. But there is no such correspondence. LeBron is seemingly immortal and it’s really hard to imagine him ever regressing to the point that I’ll be able to feature him on my channel. I honestly expect that he’ll average 22/6/8 in the season before his retirement.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Being the reigning MVP winner is like the simplest, most no-brainer criterion for exclusion from my channel.
James Harden – Being the reigning scoring champ is #2 on the list of no-brainer criteria that I use to figure out who’s too good for my channel.
Kevin Durant – This is kind of moot since Durant will probably miss the whole season. Just in case he unexpectedly returns to the court, though, I’m making my position clear: Kevin Durant is a top five scorer of all time and top five scorers of all time who are also in their prime do not get DTB highlight videos.
Stephen Curry – I look back fondly at the early years of my channel when I made some Steph Curry videos even though he was already too good. But the reminiscences are bittersweet because my whole friggin’ channel got deleted. God damn it. Now I’ve gone and made myself sad again.
Kawhi Leonard – Just like this dude is constantly getting “load managed” to stay healthy, I myself “load manage” my highlight-making duties by excluding players who single-handedly drag their team to a championship and then immediately leave to form a superteam somewhere else.
Anthony Davis – I just want to remind everybody that there is a very strange video out there on the internet of a naked Anthony Davis getting spanked by unknown assailants while he screams into the camera.
Damian Lillard – Lillard’s been a premier scorer for long enough where I now feel comfortable calling him a “superstar”. Long ago when I called him “Brandon Jennings 2.0”, I was mostly right, except I forgot a zero. Lillard is Brandon Jennings 20.0.
Russell Westbrook – A high-usage ballhog getting traded to a team (Houston) that already has a high-usage ballhog doesn’t seem like a recipe for success. That said, you could put Westbrook on a team with four other Hardens and he would still find a way to statpad his way to triple-doubles.
Kyrie Irving – This is somewhat regrettable because I could write some very far-out description stories for this guy and have them be completely believable.
Karl-Anthony Towns – That’s right. He’s a superstar. Unlike you simpletons, I don’t tie superstardom to team success or even individual accolades like all-NBA team appearances. Superstar status also is not even really tied to individual stats either. Only simpletons rely on crutches like “rationales” or “reasons” to label somebody a superstar. I am no simpleton.
POWER GROUP 2: STARS
Luka Doncic – I estimate that I lost forty hours of my life making highlight videos for Doncic during his rookie year. I could have been so much more productive with those forty hours. For example, I could have been making E’Twaun Moore highlights that entire time.
Joel Embiid – Will only be accepted back onto my channel after no less than five (5) season-ending injuries have reduced him to a shell of the player he once was.
Paul George – It feels like George is definitely star 1b on the Clippers. Leonard is star 1a. Montrezl Harrell is probably star 1f. Lou Williams is star 2a. Steve Ballmer is star 1z. In short, anybody who gets assigned a “star” number is too good for my channel.
Nikola Jokic -Serbians are gonna be mad that I didn’t put Jokic in Power Group 1. Except all the Serbians abandoned my channel after I stopped making Jokic videos so none of them are around to get mad about anything.
John Wall – I’ve lost track of when he’s supposed to come back from injury. Is it before or after the calendar year 2021?
Jimmy Butler – For some reason I don’t like Jimmy Butler. If he were a lesser player, I would be casting around for excuses to get him onto the exclusion list. But he’s actually a good player. He’s definitely good enough where I don’t need to make excuses for placing him in the “stars” category.
Donovan Mitchell – When I think about how mad I could make Jazz fans by strategically deploying the nickname “Donovan Bitchell” in situations where it is clear that the usage is unironic, I feel unreasonable amounts of excitement.
Bradley Beal – As of this writing, he’s scoring over thirty PPG per game. I don’t have a solidly-defined PPG per game line above which a player is automatically disqualified from my channel, but I’d say that thirty might be that line.
Devin Booker – Uh. The Booker Report is currently averaging 25 PPG while inducting himself into the 50/40/90 club. Um.
Pascal Siakam – This guy got good faster than my slow-to-update exclusion list could handle. He went from a little-used reserve to a veritable star in the blink of an eye and the result was way too much effort expended on making highlight videos for him. I will miss the goldfish face that he makes when he’s about to shoot a free throw.
Andrew Wiggins – “Gotta get better”, Andrew Wiggins mumbles to himself as he sees the chances of being re-included on DTB getting higher with every midrange brick he throws up early in the shot clock.
Kemba Walker – No longer a big fish in the small pond of Charlotte, Kemba is now a big fish in a big pond (Boston). And, to the relief of Boston fans, he’s not a big fish who believes that the earth is flat.
DeMar DeRozan – I can proudly state that I have never ever made a DeMar DeRozan highlight video. Not even an -ilation. And I intend to keep it that way.
Jrue Holiday – I will never forgive him for playing so well in the 17-18 season that I made 21 videos for him totaling an hour and five minutes of runtime. Actually, there is one way he could earn my forgiveness. And that’s by paying my extortionate licensing fees in order to get permission to use my footage to self-release a DVD of his highlights.
Blake Griffin – Early returns on the 19-20 season: worrying regression for Griffin. No amount of my fervent prayers to various deities both real and imagined will ever bring back the Griffin that wowed us with Lob City. Hold me, bros.
D’Angelo Russell -Thinking about Dan-Jello just makes me with that Nick Young was still in the league so the two of them could get involved in some of their patented Crazy Locker-Room Hijinks™!
POWER GROUP 3: not quite stars
Brandon Ingram -26 PPG per game. That’s all I need to say.
Ben Simmons – I might call him “Bum Scrubbins” but he’s still pretty good.
Zach LaVine – LaVine might not be a star, but he takes a lot of shots and hits a good amount of them, which will trick most casual fans into thinking he’s a star. You can’t fool me, Zach! You’re just MarShon Brooks with a better vertical!
C.J. McCollum – You are now manually remembering Ray McCallum. If there are no memories of Ray McCallum anywhere in your brain, please discontinue your perusal of this list immediately.
Trae Young – 28 PPG per game. If that’s not enough justification for you, you need to re-evaluate your understanding of my channel.
De’Aaron Fox – The leap he made between his rookie and sophomore seasons was large, but not so large that I don’t expect him to take similarly-sized leaps each of the next ten off-seasons.
Kevin Love – It’s honestly hard to tell if K-Love is any good anymore since he plays on a truly sad Cavs team that was maybe trying to build around him I guess? We’re erring on the side of caution here. K-Love is out.
Mike Conley – The start of his Jazz career hasn’t been promising, but he’ll bounce back I’m sure. If not, he can get started on his jazz career instead. “Mike Conley” definitely sounds like the name of somebody who can play a mean string bass.
LaMarcus Aldridge – LMA is practically an old man now. He probably calls the storage space on his phone “memory”, but the decline of his game isn’t too apparent. Yet.
Buddy Hield – Invest now in BuddyCoin, the only cryptocurrency invented by a sentient 12-foot-tall 3D-printed naked purple plastic statue of Buddy Hield who also happens to be my best friend!
Bojan Bogdanovic – Unlike Mike Conley, who got to Utah and immediately started sucking, Bojan Bogdanovic got to Utah and started kicking total ass. If he hadn’t been on my exclusion list at the start of the season, he would have been by game five.
Tobias Harris – WHY DID THE BUCKS TRADE HIM FOR A J.J. REDICK RENTAL WHY WHY WHY WHY
Khris Middleton -I’m going to regret for the rest of my life not making a 2017-18 Khris Middleton midrange-ilation (“Middilation”). Being on the exclusion list is Middleton’s punishment for making me feel this way.
Nikola Vucevic – His stat-stuffing ways finally earned him an All-Star appearance last season. Is it a rule that All-Stars are always excluded for the next season? Probably. Yeah. Let’s make that a rule.
Malcolm Brogdon – You know, the Bucks are doing well enough this season that I’m not even mad that Malcolm Brogdon AKA The Cybrog AKA Junkyard Brog AKA Brog Dog is doing really well in Indiana. [muffled sobbing]
Gordon Hayward – I’m waiting to upgrade the video card on my computer until Hayward endorses a brand. I’m pretty sure he endorsed Hyper-X memory so I went out and bought 128 GB of it. This is like when every man in America started wearing Hanes tighty-whities because MJ appeared in an advertisement for them.
Montrezl Harrell – Usually I am more than happy to throw whatever random players onto the exclusion list, but seeing Monsterezl on here makes me legitimately sad. His videos are fun to both make and watch. RIP Trez.
Jamal Murray – The Nuggets have a very egalitarian scoring distribution right now, so Murray doesn’t actually average an insane amount of points, but he totally would if his teammates would let him. There’s no rule that says my exclusion list can’t be speculative in its reasoning. If there was such a rule I would cancel it because it’s my list.
Chris Paul – Being on the tank-tastic Thunder diminishes his star power significantly, but not significantly enough to stop him from being a pseudo-star.
Kyle Lowry – The video I made of Lowry’s 10/10/10 triple-double in 2013 will never, ever be dredged up from my archivium and made public. Ever. Ever ever ever. That video was a mistake which I would like to bury in the past.
POWER GROUP 3.5: steroid users
Deandre Ayton – As of this writing, he played only one game (the season opener) before getting busted for diuretics. Based on that one-game sample size, he will average 18/11 on 64% shooting this season.
John Collins – Since him and Trae Young are the next Stoudemire/Nash, and everybody agrees that neither Stoudemire or Nash would ever appear on my channel in their primes, it follows that neither Collins nor Young should appear on my channel either.
Hedo Turkoglu – Oh, I thought this was 2013. Never Mind.
POWER GROUP 4: just guys who score too many points and i got sick of it
Lou Williams -I don’t think Lou Williams has ever been a star at any point in his career, but he definitely is one of the leading non-star bucket-getters in NBA history. Him and Monta Ellis. And Kobe Bryant.
Ricky Rubio – The heading of this power group is misleading. Ricky Rubio doesn’t score too many points. What he does do is accumulate too many assists. He also makes my heart feel funny things when I look into his eyes, an action that’s kinda unavoidable when you’re editing thumbnail images for YouTube.
Eric Bledsoe – Bledsoe was on my channel for maybe like six weeks at the beginning of last season before I ended that experiment for the sake of my sanity.
Evan Fournier – “The French MJ” is off my channel because his nickname compares him to the GOAT, Michael Jordan. Did I just make that nickname up? Maybe. It doesn’t matter. [Ed. note: Kareem is actually the GOAT, not MJ]
Danilo Gallinari -Did you know that free throw percentage is a secret DTB exclusion criterion? Gallo’s 90% four seasons running is the sole reason that he’s off my channel. It has nothing at all to do with his high level of scoring ability.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – After a string of high-scoring games, I banished SGA from my channel in a fit of rage unbefitting of a man of my stature. What’s done is done. The rage cannot be un-raged.
Harrison Barnes – This dude is off my channel solely on the back of his first season in Dallas where he dropped nineteen per game and didn’t do anything else on the court. That was four years ago now. I guess you could say that I hold a grudge.
J.J. Redick – WHY DID THE BUCKS TRADE TOBES FOR A RENTAL OF THIS GUY??? SO WE COULD CHASE THE EIGHTH SEED AND GET STEAMROLLED BY THE HEAT????? WHY???????
Kristaps Porzingis – Right now he’s scoring 17 PPG per game on sub-40% shooting. But he got paid like a superstar so he gets excluded from my channel like a superstar.
Lauri Markkanen – I put him next to Porzingis because they both regressed and because they’re the same type of player. The only difference between them is that KP got paid like a superstar, while Markkanen’s superstar payday is still coming up.
Julius Randle – The Knicks are “his” team. If you have your own team, you’re too good for DTB, even if you’re not too good for DTB.
Collin Sexton – Since he’s the “point guard” for the Cavaliers, he gets to be the primary scorer for them by default. If you’re the primary scorer on your team, you’re too good for DTB, even if you’re not too good for DTB.
Caris LeVert – Kevin Durant’s not around to take away his touches so I expect him to deliver 60% of Durant’s production for 7% of the cost (keep in mind that his big-bucks extension doesn’t kick in until next year).
Jaylen Brown -A lot of young players on this list unexpectedly regressed from last season to this season, which makes me look foolish, but Brown actually developed as a player, so that’s cool.
Jayson Tatum – I put both the Celtics’ young “stars” at the bottom of this power group solely to trigger Celtics fans.
POWER GROUP 5: Centers
Hassan Whiteside – Whenever Jusuf Nurkic’s leg regains its weight-bearing capabilities, that’s when I’ll start thinking about re-including Whiteside. With Nurkic out, however, there’s nothing stopping him from infinite 20/10/0 games until the end of time.
Clint Capela -What if Clint Capela secretly has point-center capabilities that we’re not aware of because sharing the court with James Harden forces him to play a certain way? What if being the league’s dunk leader is causing Capela large amounts of inner turmoil because he knows he can be more than just a catcher of lobs?
Andre Drummond – Just kick Griffin off the team and try to get Drummond to average 20/20. Tell him to post up every possession and shoot the ball any time he gets within eight feet of the basket. That’s the only way to make the Pistons exciting.
Rudy Gobert – Nobody even watches the dunkilations I make for this guy even though they’re hella sick. Come on you plebs. Watch the Gobert dunkilations.
Marc Gasol – This guy has been off my channel, then on it, then off it, then on it, then off it again. And now he’s totally washed but he’s staying off because I learned my lesson about being so wishy-washy. Speaking of washy, did I mention how washed Gasol is?
POWER GROUP 6: now that i think about it i should probably re-include these guys
Dennis Schröder – The owner of the Magic Lederhosen hasn’t been too good for DTB since his Hawks days, but German people weren’t even watching his vids by the end of it so the motivation to re-include him is not there.
Josh Richardson – Went from first option on the Heat to, like, fourth or fifth option on the 76ers. I don’t learn very fast though. Check back next year.
Jordan Clarkson – You just know his principle desire in life is to play for a team that’s bad enough that they give him 36 MPG per game and let him score 20 PPG per game. Why aren’t the Cavs that team?
Al Horford – I still call him “Al Horribleford” because he didn’t get enough rebounds for my fantasy basketball team the one year I played fantasy basketball. P.S. fantasy basketball is for weak non-men. Real men run NBA highlights channels.
T.J. Warren – Warren Peace is just a straight-up bucket-getter. His DTB status should be re-evaluated constantly to account for the size of his role at any given time.
Goran Dragic – The residual All-Starriness from his single pity All-Star appearance a few years ago has yet to wear off.
Aaron Gordon – Man he sucks this season. 13 PPG per game on 40% shooting? Those are numbers ripe for DTB. However, he might just be in a slump so on the exclusion list he remains. [Ed. note: he’s not just in a slump] [Ed. note #2 is it because he got concussioned]
Kyle Kuzma – The Kuz-Ball showed flashes of being a big-time scorer in this league, but is slow coming back from injury and is no longer scorer #2 behind LeBron. He’s scorer #8 behind LeBron, AD, Danny Green, KCP, McGee, Caruso, and Jared Dudley.
POWER GROUP 7: players who are excluded for being too popular
Carmelo Anthony – His return to the Blazers generated such a ridiculous media frenzy that I had to register my protest by abstaining from the uploadment of his highlight videos. This was tough for me because I knew that the view counts on any Carmelo videos I uploaded would be hella hellacious.
Derrick Rose – Rose is actually still a good player, surprisingly enough, so his legions of fans have yet to abandon him. Honestly, his stats are still almost good enough for him to be disqualified from my channel straight up.
Lonzo Ball – Tapping into the huge amounts of Ball family drama would be a sure way to get more subscribers (and Patreon donors). Instead I’ll take the hardest road and upload videos of Jae Crowder scoring twenty.
Isaiah Thomas – We should all pool together enough money to give Thomas the contact he could have signed if his back didn’t implode into a black hole. (More like “back hole” LMAO)
Rajon Rondo – Assists are the bane of my existence, as they slow down highlight videos that should be scoring-focused, so it’s no surprise that I would find a reason to give Rondo the boot.
Dwight Howard – The “Lakers Redemption Tour” angle would make for some easy-to-write video descriptions, but the allure of easy-to-write video descriptions is nothing compared to the allure of saving time by ignoring Dwight entirely. It’s moot anyway because he’s averaging like 7 PPG per game right now and has had maybe one highlight-worthy performance.
Draymond Green – I don’t want to be too happy about the Warriors’ injury situation (Curry and Thompson both out), but I can’t help but be filled with glee knowing that Green’s impact on a star-less team is exactly what I thought it would be: basically non-existent.
POWER GROUP 8: the amendments
Spencer Dinwiddie (banished on 12/15/2019) – At the time of the banishment, Din-Dins was averaging 21/6. Players have been banished for much less, but I held on for a long time because he’s grown up on my channel from a DNP’ed scrub to a legit All-Star candidate. My attraction to his facial hair may have also played a small role in keeping him around longer than I should have.
Bam Adebayo (banished on 2/16/2019) – Any power forward or center who could be accurately called a “triple double machine” should be on my short list of players who are in line to be removed. That was the first nail in the coffin. Him being named an All-Star was the second nail. How many nails do coffins need, anyway?
Domantas Sabonis (banished on 2/16/2019) – Another first-time All-Star removed from my channel for being an All-Star. That is the eventual fate of all players who decide to channel Nikola Jokic.
the re-inclusion list
Tim Hardaway Jr. – I decide to remove this guy from the exclusion list and he immediately starts going off with twenty-point games. I am cursed when it comes to THJ. Literally cursed.
Steven Adams – Westbrook being gone means he gets more rebounds. It also should have meant that he gets more shot attempts, but that’s not really the case right now.
Dennis Smith Jr. – His fall from grace wasn’t entirely unexpected (he was never an efficient player or a good shooter), but it was so abrupt that I don’t really want to think about it. At the rate he’s going, it wont’ matter if he’s on the exclusion list or not because he will so rarely be scoring enough points to qualify for a highlight video.