Some notable names having been excluded from the 75 best players of all time in the NBA, did they have a case?
By OMAR NAVARRO – [email protected]
Making a list of any kind will surely result in controversy, and the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team is no exception. To celebrate the league’s 75th season, a group compound current and former NBA players, coaches, general managers and team and league leaders, WNBA legends, sports writers and broadcasters all voted for 75 of the greatest NBA players of all time . They were not asked to rank them, and also, no matter what position they held.
As expected, the list was headlined by names like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and other NBA greats. As the names continued to be announced, the honor of being selected on this anniversary list was an honor they held in high regard.
“Where I’m from I’m just LOST FOR THE WORDS !!” tweeted LeBron James after his announcement. “BEYOND HONORED AND BLESSED !! ”
“Obviously that’s an incredible honor,” Golden State Warriors Steph Curry Recount journalists at his post-match press conference after the announcement. “This is something I never dreamed of […] I remember looking at the top 50 list, these cool jackets they had, and just the names you saw and stuff. Now you think about 25 more over the past 25 years and what that meant. So being on this list is amazing.
As kudos continued to pour in for the first 75 (or 76 since two players were tied), some people started to see names removed from the list. By far the most accomplished name left on the list was 8x All-Star Dwight Howard, who was not among the selected players.
“Dwight Howard not making the NBA 75th Anniversary team is an indictment on the whole list,” First Things First host Nick Wright noted. “It makes it look like it’s the cool kids’ lunch table rather than the most prestigious group in NBA history. His CV isn’t bordering on the top 75, it’s at the top. top 45 limit.
In addition to his eight All-Star appearances, Howard also owns an NBA Championship, is 8x All-NBA, 3x Defensive Player of the Year, 5x All-Defensive Player, 5x Rebound Leader and 2x Block Champ. A long resume indeed, Howard was dropped from the list for some reason. Let it be her ugly go out of the Orlando Magic, its antics, or other things he did during his long NBA career, it was enough for voters to keep him off the list. antics or not, Howard’s resume deserves recognition from the top 75 players in NBA history, especially considering some of the names on the roster that aren’t even close to his accomplishments.
Another big man who was left off the list was former Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat star Chris Bosh. Despite the frightening end to his career, the Hall of Fame racked up 11 All-Star appearances, two NBA championships – including the crucial rebound that led to Ray Allen’s famous three-point run against the San Antonio Spurs – and was l one of the best great men in the game throughout his time. Although people considered him the third violin of those 2010s Miami Heat teams along with James and Dwyane Wade, he was an integral part of that team as well as the 2000s Raptors teams.
Continuing on the trend of great men left behind, a name that was never flashy but deserved some recognition was that of Pau Gasol. A crucial part of the Lakers’ back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, his game aided the late Kobe Bryant in his quest for greatness following the departure of Shaquille O’Neal.
“The reality is I wouldn’t win these two championships without Pau,” said Bryant. noted in 2018. “[Los Angeles] would not have these two championships without Pau Gasol. We know that. Everyone knows it.”
In addition to his two championships, he was a 6x All-Star, 4x All-NBA selection and also the all-time top 50 in career points, rebounds, blocks and substitution wins. While he may not have had the longevity of some players, neither have some on this list. The peak of Gasol gave rise to championships, and his omission from the list of 76 players remains one of the failures.
When you look at the history of the NBA, injury is something that certainly trumps the careers of many great players. This can be said about two players who weren’t on the roster, Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill. While both players have had fantastic careers, it’s likely that injuries were the main thing that took them off the roster. Even then, McGrady, a 7x All-Star and All-NBA player, lit up the league throughout his healthy time. He’s won the top scorer title twice and if injuries hadn’t derailed his career prematurely, he would have easily made the list. Hill, meanwhile, himself a 7x All-Star and 5x All-NBA member, suffered injuries throughout his early years. His heyday saw him dominate like a new era, but as injuries shattered his body he became less effective. Still, his absence from the list drew a lot of attention, as Hill and McGrady were more than worthy of being on it.
Looking at the active players who made it – LeBron, Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Chris Paul – there are a few omissions that people highlighted, and those are the absence of Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and Golden State Warriors sniper Klay Thompson. Looking at current league players, names like Paul George and Derrick Rose might have an argument over accolades alone, but Irving and Thompson stand out the most.
7x All-Star, 3x All-NBA, Rookie of the Year and full-fledged player in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 3-1 Series comeback against the Golden State Warriors, Irving’s resume speaks for itself. Despite the controversy surrounding Irving at the moment, he is arguably one of the greatest finishers in league history and also has one of the best grips of all time. Looking at his counterpart Damian Lillard, it’s possible to argue that Irving should be superior to Lillard, as his career doesn’t compare to Irving’s, yet he made the list.
Although he hasn’t played in years, Thompson hopes to remind people who he is when he returns from injury later this season. Still, the fact that he was dropped from the top 75 list didn’t fit the Warriors’ sniper.
“Maybe I’m just naive in my ability to play basketball, but in my head I’m in the top 75 all-time,” Thompson noted following the announcement of the list.
A three-time NBA champion and 5x all-star, Thompson will go down in history as one of the top three shooters of all time. His pure shooting mechanics and laser precision led him to make his mark in NBA history, especially in Warriors’ championship races. Forgotten by many, his high-level defense against opposing players is another part of his game that has been underestimated throughout his time in the league. Between Thompson and Howard, they might be the two players with the biggest argument to join the greats on this list.
Making a list is flawed science that will never make everyone happy. Many names have been left out, but that shouldn’t diminish their size. For those who made the list, it will be a great accomplishment, knowing that their impact on the game has been felt on an unprecedented level. For those left off the list, it will be more fuel for the fire, as they will be there to prove why they deserved to be on the list of the 76 best players in NBA history.
Written by: Omar Navarro – [email protected]