NBA’s 75 greatest players list – let’s discuss who is best
With the NBA’s 75th anniversary celebration this 2021-2022 season, the league unveils the list of NBA’s 75 greatest players in the history of the NBA. While 25 years have passed since the reveal of NBA top 50 players, it signaled the lengthy celebration of the NBA’s 50th anniversary back in 1996.
A blue-ribbon committee of media selected the greatest and the best players for the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team. Although due to a voting tie, the NBA75 team ended with 76 players. This list includes 75 players from the different eras of basketball from Dr. J to LeBron James. It’s an interesting take on who are some of the best players in NBA history and what they’ve done to get there.
While the list of NBA75 players’ names is now complete, it wouldn’t hurt to know what’s their basis for the selections. From picking the biggest snubs and surprises to the active players who aren’t part of the NBA75 team, take a look at the list and the experts’ reviews and ponder on who’s the best.
The NBA’s 75 (76*) Greatest Players Ever list: pic.twitter.com/it0cVQyZFQ
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 21, 2021
Best-of-the-best all-time starting five
Windhorst: SG: Michael Jordan, PG: Magic Johnson, SF: Lebron James, PF: Tim Duncan, C: Wilt Chamberlain
Sedano: SG: Michael Jordan, PG: Magic Johnson, SF: Kobe Bryant, PF: Lebron James, C: Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Spears: SG: Michael Jordan, PG: Magic Johnson, SF: Lebron James, PF: Tim Duncan, C: Hakeem Olajuwon
Goldsberry: SG: Michael Jordan, PG: Magic Johnson, SF: Lebron James, PF: Tim Duncan, C: Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Biggest snubs left off the list
Herring: Though I’d like a unique answer, like Joe Dumars or someone like Alex English, the answer is Dwight Howard. It’s mind-blowing that he’s not part of the NBA75 list.
Pina: It’s almost next to impossible to whittle thousands of NBA players down to 75. Nevertheless, Dwight Howard should be here in the NBA75 team. He’s an eight-time All-star who cracked eight All-NBA teams and won three Defensive Player of the Year trophies.
Beck: I’d say the biggest snub is Klay Thompson. He’s the one player I voted for who didn’t make the NBA75 final list. I think Thompson is the greatest shooter of all time, next to Steph Curry. Aside from being a great defender, he’s also a three-time champion and was essential to the Warriors dynasty.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 22, 2021
Spears: Even with all that’s happening this season, Kyrie Irving not being on the NBA75 list surprised me. Same with the other names that stand out include Klay Thompson, Paul George, Tony Parker, Ben Wallace, and Alonzo Mourning.
Huge surprises of unexpected names on the list
Herring: It’s Anthony Davis. Though the body of work is evident, seeing him on the NBA75 list and not Dwight is surprising. It makes me wonder just how much Davis benefited from winning the title alongside Lebron James. Even if Howard never won it as a star, he was responsible for giving his team a chance to earn a ring.
Pina: I wasn’t expecting some of the active players to make it, considering that their careers remain unsettled. Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard are deserving. But what separates them from Nikola Jokic, Klay Thompson, Paul George, and Jimmy Butler?
Sedano: With utmost respect, it’s Damian Lillard. He’s a must-watch television and my favorite player to watch right now. But he doesn’t have the accolades you can find on the resumes of most of the players on the NBA75 list. There are still a few snubs that I would think of putting ahead of Dame.
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) October 23, 2021
Windhorst: Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard. Some parts of their resumes aren’t complete and the voters are likely projecting a little. These players were playing against their peers, not the greats from the 1950s. As a result, no one that doesn’t belong. So considering the other choices I’d guess this NBA’s 75 vote was pretty tight with these two.
Potential active player who can make it in the NBA100 list in 25 years
Sedano: I’ll choose Ja Morant. I’m in love with his energy and his game. While he’s made Memphis matter, his performance last season was off-the-charts. Then he followed it up with a Game 1 upset of the Jazz.
Windhorst: Luka Doncic. Back in 1996, voters put Shaq on the NBA75 list. They were convinced of his place in the game. It’s hard not to project Luka being awarded over All-Star Weekend in Cleveland in 2047.
Spears: Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Jayson Tatum, Klay Thompson, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving, Trae Young, Joel Embed, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, and Karl Anthony-Towns to name a few.
Goldsberry: Nikola Jokic. But only two NBA MVP winners were excluded, Jokic and Derrick Rose. I love both players, but Jokic is just getting warmed up, he’s redefining the center position in the modern game, and he’s destined to be a major influence on big men for decades.
The NBA is known for being one of the most competitive leagues in all sports. It’s always interesting to see who are considered the best players because it shows how much they have accomplished and what their legacy will be.
This NBA’s 75 list has some surprising names, but also includes legends like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and more! Basketball fans should take a look at this list if you want to know which guys are the GOATs (greatest of all time).