The Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman recently had a phone conversation with ESPN's Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle on the Denver Nuggets and a wide-ranging discussion on the the rest of the NBA. Beadle finds it unfortunate that Carmelo Anthony seems determined to leave Denver, while Cowherd sees it as the inevitable progression of a player trying to move to a major NBA market.
The conversation gets a bit heated when Hochman asks where Melo ranks among the best in the league. Cowherd puts Lebron James and Kobe Bryant no. 1 and no. 2, respectively, and then has Melo and Kevin Durant tied for third.
Michelle Beadle would actually rank the Spurs' Tim Duncan ahead of both Melo and Durant because of his quiet leadership. Cowherd's response:
Cowherd: By the way, you know why Tim Duncan doesn’t talk? Because nobody asks him questions because he’s irrelevant!
That's typical of Cowherd to make statements like that to provoke discussion. Duncan is 34 years old and coming off a season in which he averaged 31.3 minutes per game, a career low. Maybe age will continue to catch up with Tim Duncan, but he's not irrelevant.
However, youth over age usually determines the best in the game. In this regard, LeBron, Melo and Durant are all in their 20's still. The three of them will still be part of this debate for years to come.