‘Disrespectful’: Debate rages over NBA’s greatest of all time list
A list of the greatest NBA players of all time has sparked major debate, with several stars hitting out at some controversial snubs.
Get ready to debate, basketball fans.
The NBA has released its “75th Anniversary Team” in honour of the league’s 75th season.
It is effectively a list of the 75 greatest players of all time in the NBA’s history, selected by a panel of current and former NBA players, coaches, general managers and team and league executives, WNBA legends and sportswriters and broadcasters.
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The NBA released the list over three days in instalments of 25 and the final group was announced on Friday (AEDT).
As a result of a tie in the voting, the 75th Anniversary Team features 76 players.
The team featured the usual suspects, including Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Stephen Curry, among others.
Upon its announcement, fans and pundits wasted no time debating who were the biggest snubs and who was lucky to make the list.
Many believed veteran centre Dwight Howard was extremely stiff to not make the cut.
In his prime, the imposing big man won three Defensive player of the year awards, was named on five consecutive All-NBA teams and was regarded as the greatest shot blocker of all time.
He added an NBA championship ring to his trophy cabinet in 2020 playing alongside LeBron James for the LA Lakers.
Howard wasn’t happy he was overlooked, commenting one word on an Instagram post asking who was the biggest snub from the team: “disrespectful”.
Controversial point guard Kyrie Irving, who is not allowed to play for Brooklyn Nets until he gets vaccinated against Covid-19, was another high-profile absentee from the anniversary team.
Former Golden State Warriors teammates Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant both took to Twitter to express their astonishment at Irving’s snub, with Iguodala arguing Irving deserves to be in the “top 20 at least”.
Other notable omissions included prolific scorer and seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady, slam dunk specialist Vince Carter and two-time champion with the Miami Heat Chris Bosh.
Fans of the San Antonio Spurs also had reason to feel hard done by, with four-time NBA champions Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli both snubbed.
Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson, who has missed the last two seasons with injury, was unimpressed he didn’t make the cut, posting on Instagram: “Maybe I’m just naive in my ability to play basketball, but in my head I’m Top 75 all time”.
There are 11 active NBA players on the list: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.
Many fans argued from the current crop of players, Lillard and Davis were lucky to be included and less deserving of a spot on the list than one of the high-profile snubs.
The vigorous debate sparked by 75th anniversary team was music to the ears of NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“Many of you I know have created your own lists, and several of them I’ve been reading,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that the various rankings will generate a season-long debate and conversation among fans and all of you.”
You can check out the full NBA 75th Anniversary Team here.
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