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Jonas Valanciunas is Lithuanian for “Underrated”

The disrespect has to stop.

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Atlanta Hawks v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies and their fans have gotten used to the lack of love flowing from the national media. The small-market syndrome at times has its disadvantages, but the blue-collar Memphians would not have it any other way. They are used to earning their respect, as nothing is ever handed to them. The city itself is overlooked as a destination, but upon arrival, most fall in love with its rich history and incredible food.

Respect is certainly earned and not given — a motto I have personally lived by for years — but when it is earned, it should be given. Grizzlies fans saw it first hand with Mike Conley. A beloved point guard, that sure may have been overvalued by the hometown fans, but certainly earned an All Star nod or two in his tenure on Beale Street.

While an All Star snub is quantitatively more painful for a player and fan base — it effects contract — not being recognized as one of the NBA’s top 100 players is an egregious snub for Memphis Grizzlies center, Jonas Valanciunas.

Thus far, three different lists have dropped: ESPN, CBS and Sports Illustrated and only the latter included JV at 97 (still ridiculous) while the other two left him off all together. I spoke with someone at CBS about the omission, and for them it came down to personal preference due to style of play. In other words, he hates centers.

Style of play, however, should not diminish the fact that, while on the floor, Jonas Valanciunas is easily a top 100 player in the NBA. The list is, after all, the top 100 players. Not top 100 players that fit into a preferred system by each writer at our website.

What is even more mind boggling is the ESPN omission. When John Hollinger was their advanced stat guru, he came up with the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) which is still a stat category on their site today. According to their own created statistic, Jonas Valanciunas was 17th IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE in PER. Now explain how a player who is a top 6 rebounder and top 20 player in efficiency not be a top 100 player?

Both CBS and ESPN decided to rank Myles Turner. I would dare say they are more accurately ranking the idea of Myles Turner, as he belongs nowhere on this list. For their career in PER 36 Minutes categories, Turner bests JV in one category that matters for their position with one more blocked shot per 36 on average. Valanciunas is +1.5 in scoring per 36 on 8% better shooting. JV out-rebounds Turner at 4 more boards per 36 and they shoot nearly an identical average from deep, but tell me more about how Turner is better.

Here are a few others listed ahead of JV that are just flat out wrong:

Jarrett Allen (94)

Mitchell Robinson (92)

Aaron Gordon (78)

Myles Turner (74)!!!!!!!

These are just big men type players as it is slightly more difficult to accurately compare JV to say a Patrick Beverley, but I would put Jonas in the top 90 of 450 players and maybe higher — but I am not here for blazing hot takes, just to demand respect for a man that has earned it.

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