The NBA After Dark team is taking the week off the podcast, but we couldn’t let the Finals start without blessing you with an arbitrary ranking of personalities. Here are the NBA Finals Likability Power Rankings. Andrew Sharp handled 1–12, Chris Ryan took 13–24, and Juliet Litman grabbed the rest.
1. J.R. Smith
J.R. Smith is in the NBA Finals.
Let’s do this.
2. Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr is so likable that I almost hate him for it, but then he’ll say something wry and self-deprecating and I love him all over again. Also, he seems like the best boss in America.
3. Draymond Green
Yesterday on ESPN Radio, Brian Windhorst told a story about Draymond Green playing against the Heat as a rookie. He guarded LeBron and talked trash the entire game. Green hit the game winner. He’s been a king from day one.
4. Festus Ezeli
Can you find anyone in the world who doesn’t like Festus Ezeli?
5. Timofey Mozgov
He got married wearing a tracksuit at a drive-through church in Vegas. A few weeks ago, he walked up to a guy in Cleveland and demanded to take a photo with his girlfriend. Team Mozgov.
6. Harrison Barnes
This might seem a little high, but once you start calling him “Harry,” he immediately becomes 10 times more enjoyable.
7. Tristan Thompson
He’s turned into one of the best rebounders in the league, he’s a legitimate X factor in the NBA Finals, and after getting laughed at for turning down $52 million in the fall, he’s about to get PAID this summer. No more leftovers:
“I hate leftovers,” Thompson said. “Even in my childhood, I never liked reheating up food. I’ve been getting better lately, but I just hate warming up food because I think when I open it up, it doesn’t look fresh no more. It looks kind of, like, shriveled up. You know when you come out of the shower and you’re pruney and stuff? I’m like ugh. I want it fresh. If it isn’t fresh, make me another dish. And I hate cold food. I hate cold cuts.”
8. Shaun Livingston
His comeback was a great story when he was just a nice guy who made it back to the Brooklyn Nets, but now he’s in the NBA Finals.
9. Anderson Varejao
Fresh perm for the Finals??
10. Luke Walton
He didn’t get the Lakers’ head-coaching job, landing in Golden State instead. Of course. His life is one long spring break.
11. Mike Miller
I saw Mike Miller getting ready in the Heat locker room before a Finals game a few years ago. He was sitting with both feet propped up like a hospital patient, leaning back with a giant wad of dip in his lip, spitting into a Powerade cup. He won a title that night.
12. Leandro Barbosa
Because adding a little Barbosa makes every game more fun. Also, he helped engineer one of the greatest NBA videos of all time.
13. Andrew Bogut
Recently, CBS’s Matt Moorie asked Bogut about the reports of spiders raining from the sky in his Australian homeland. Bogut: “It’s not like it’s always raining spiders or there are just snakes walking down the street in the city where they’re going to jump out of a lane and eat you … There is stuff there that can kill you. Obviously if you see a swamp or water that’s not clear, you don’t jump into it. So, yeah.” Cannot wait for this guy’s second career at the Australian toursim board.
14. Steph Curry
He’s probably overexposed at this point. Really just a delivery platform for his daughter.
15. Ron Adams
Ron. Great name.
16. Alvin Gentry
This dude is the anti-Thibs. By all accounts, he’s one of the biggest jokesters in the coaching profession.
17. Joe Harris
He’s just on the line between inoffensive and likable.
18. Klay Thompson
This is about as exciting as Klay Thompson gets. He’s an After Dark (read: Litman) favorite, but he is pretty aloof.
19. Kendrick Perkins
He has settled into the perfect twilight role of chemistry guy/last-resort goon. It seriously seems like he’s 62 years old in these Eastern Conference finals celebration videos.
It’s all fun and games until he ’bows Curry into the third row.
20. Andre Iguodala
That’s a classic tweet. This dude used to be one of my favorites, and he is responsible for the greatest Sixers moment of the decade.
But charisma-wise he’s anonymous.
21. Iman Shumpert
This ranking is scandalous if you ask me. Iman is a top-five likability talent. This is what happens when you let Litman call the shots. I asked her to explain herself:
lolb/c of him thinking empire was about himb/c he responded to lil b on twitterand i generally feel he personifies many of the worst qualities of millenials
22. Matthew Dellavedova
Dresses like a blogger, plays like a gangster.
23. Justin Holiday
I would love to be a fly on the wall for the Thanksgiving dinner when Justin getting to the NBA Finals before Jrue comes up on the topic wheel.
24. Tyronn Lue
Just going to leave this here.
25. James Jones
Last year, LeBron publicly called for James Jones to play more, and apparently Cleveland is a place where dreams come true. Congratulations to James Jones, the primary beneficiary of LeBron’s willpower.
26. Shawn Marion
Marion appears to have an extensive Avengers sock collection, even including Loki, which probably prevented him from making it into LeBron’s clique.
27. Marreese Speights
Didn’t miss him in the conference finals.
28. Kyrie Irving
You can’t be from the Russell Westbrook School of Surliness when we know Uncle Drew is lurking inside of you.
29. Brandon Rush
He has been playing the role of LeBron in Warriors practices. Not a lot to work with, personality-wise.
T-30. Ognjen Kuzmic and James Michael McAdoo
You only know these two as the last guys Curry mentioned in his MVP speech, about whom he had nothing to say except that they were new. Moving on.
32. David Lee
Lee lost his starting job to Draymond Green and his fiancée to E from Entourage. Tough year for this guy, but somehow it feels like maybe he had it coming.
33. Kevin Love
It’s time to stop explaining that Kevin Love is a loner, and start accepting that he’s not fun.
34. LeBron James
Some may say LeBron is an underdog this time around, but is the best player in the world with a self-proclaimed CEO mentality really in need of more fans? This executive claims he is a camaraderie guy, and apparently that means using the press to criticize his teammates and coach.
35. David Blatt
David Blatt recently compared being an NBA coach to being a fighter pilot. Let’s leave it at that.