National Basketball Association

Nick Wright's NBA Player Pyramid

January 28

There are many ways to visualize the pecking order of NBA players. 

Ever the nonconformist, Nick Wright might utilize the most unique method of them all. Prior to the season, the First Things First host unveiled his ranking of the top 36 players in the league ⁠— in pyramid form.

Now, more than a month into the season, it's time for an update.

Here's how Wright stacks up the NBA's biggest stars, along with key statistics and commentary from Wright or reaction to the pyramid from FOX Sports NBA analyst Chris Broussard. Plus, check out the favorite to win the NBA's regular-season MVP award in each of Wright's levels, via FOX Bet.

Enter the NBA Challenge contest on the FOX Super 6 app for free, and you can win this week's $25,000 jackpot! Download now at foxsuper6.com!

TOP LEVEL: LeBron James

Best MVP odds: James +550

Key stat: James dropped 46 points for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, his most since scoring 51 vs. the Miami Heat on Nov. 18, 2018. 

Wright's thoughts: "Of course LeBron's the best player in the league. No one can deny it."

SECOND LEVEL: Kevin DurantLuka Doncic

Best MVP odds: Doncic +475

Key stat: Durant's 30.4 points per game would be the second-highest of his career behind his career high of 32.0 with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013-14.

Broussard's response: "I like Luka, too ... but he's not only dropping one tier. He's dropping two!" 

THIRD LEVEL: Nikola JokicGiannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid

Best MVP odds: Jokic +700

Key stat: Jokic is on pace for career highs in minutes per game (35.6), rebounds (11.9), assists (9.3), steals (1.9) and points (25.4).

Wright's thoughts: "Oh, look at that! A couple of big men, a couple of MVP candidates surrounding the two-time MVP [in Antetokounmpo]."

FOURTH LEVEL: Stephen Curry, Kawhi LeonardAnthony Davis, Damian Lillard

Best MVP odds: Curry +1000

Key stat: This season, the LA Clippers are 12-3 when Leonard plays and 1-2 when he's out of the lineup.

Broussard's response: "I know you've got this whole anti-Kawhi narrative that worked for you last year ... but c'mon. [Leonard belongs] right next to Kevin Durant. Period. The End."

FIFTH LEVEL: James Harden, Paul George, Donovan Mitchell, Bradley Beal, Chris Paul

Best MVP odds: George +4000

Key stat: Harden is currently leading the league with 37.9 minutes per game, and in six games with Brooklyn, he's putting in an average of 40.2 minutes.

Wright's thoughts: "James Harden ... You move down two tiers. We can't reward what happened in Houston, and with the Nets, let's be honest – you've been good but not great."

To see Wright's breakdown of his pyramid, including the full list of players in levels six through eight and players he has added or removed, check out the video below:

Nick Wright breaks down his updated NBA Player Pyramid of the 2020-21 season | FIRST THINGS FIRST

Get more from National Basketball Association Add to your favorites to get information about games, news and more.


share story