The NBA got its 75th season started Tuesday with the release of its NBA 75 anniversary team, the greatest players throughout the entire history of the league. The announcement will take place over three days, so only 25 players were named on opening night.
Here is the initial list: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nate Archibald, Charles Barkley, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Kevin Durant, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Hal Greer, James Harden, Elvin Hayes, Jerry Lucas, Moses Malone, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bob Pettit, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, and John Stockton.
There doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to the distribution of this list, though it felt planned that Nash, Durant, Harden, and Antetokounmpo were all honored before the Nets-Bucks game. Then again, LeBron James and Stephen Curry also played on TNT later in the night and didn’t crack the Tuesday list.
In theory, several Clippers — current and former — will find their way into the top 75 over the next two days. For now, the only player who ever suited up for the franchise to earn the honor is Moses Malone, who suited up for the Buffalo Braves for two games in 1976. He played six total minutes and collected one rebound and one foul for the franchise before being traded to the Houston Rockets.
The league also recreated some of the greatest moments in NBA history, substituting current stars into the images of legends. Kawhi Leonard, who will undoubtedly see his name on the NBA 75 list today or tomorrow, had the honor of stepping in for Erving during one of Dr. J’s patented reverse finishes. The entire video is a beautiful nod to the history of the NBA; it’s fun to see how much the current class of players reveres those who came before them.
More news for Wednesday:
- Paul George is ready to lead.
- Shane Young has the most in-depth Clippers preview you’ll ever need.
- Marc Stein makes eight fearless predictions about the 2021-22 season.
- The Ringer also has an expansive set of predictions for the upcoming year.
- Howard Beck asks if dynasties are dead in the NBA.
- Old friend Patrick Patterson is launching a production company.
- I enjoyed this perspective from Kevin Huerter.
Kevin Huerter: "The NBA does a good job of making $100 million seem like not a lot of money. To the rest of the world, my friends, my peers, my family, even $1 million is a lot of money. I tried to keep that in perspective throughout the whole thing. It's life-changing money."— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) October 19, 2021