Crafting the correct list in any sports debate is a tough task for quite literally anyone. The NBA might be one of hardest given its plethora of talented players — both past and present.
In honor of the league’s 75th anniversary, a list of its most prominent and impactful players has been shared over three-day increments for players, media and fans alike to parse. While a fair share of arguments ensued over notable omissions, those who made the cut found themselves in awe of the legendary company they joined upon hearing their names alongside the figures they grew up admiring.
The NBA’s Top 75 marks its fourth time selecting a group of legends in alignment with a landmark anniversary. Prior to this, the league crafted anniversary teams for the league’s 50th (1996), 35th (1980) and 25th (1971) years of existence. As part of the NBA’s celebration, its season-long honoring of its rich history will include Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Clyder Drexler, Magic Johnson, Bob Pettit and Oscar Robertson, as well as 2006-07 MVP Dirk Nowitzki, serving as ambassadors for the 2021-22 season.
With such pristine company on hand, it’s hard to imagine current players not being in awe of officially etching themselves into hoops lore. Let’s examine some of the most notable reactions for those who did (and did not) make the cut for the NBA’s Top 75.
Just over one calendar year ago, LeBron James won his fourth NBA title and became the first player in league history to win Finals MVP with three different franchises (Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers).
Now he officially stands among the legendary players in the history of the game he loves most.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 22, 2021
EVER? WOW pic.twitter.com/jkWrfDj77x
— James Harden (@JHarden13) October 20, 2021
People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.
– James Baldwin
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) October 22, 2021
— Dominique Wilkins 🏀 (@DWilkins21) October 21, 2021
This is a tribute to the @NBA, my family, friends, teammates, coaches, trainers, medical staff, front office and to the greatest AI fans all around the world. I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of yall!!! Thank YOU!!! pic.twitter.com/kItBpNiCgN
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) October 20, 2021
no defense for omitting dwight. people really don’t like that dude. https://t.co/zuzwgbA47p
— bomani (@bomani_jones) October 21, 2021
I’ll not discuss who should be off but I do want to discuss that DWIGHT HOWARD has been disrespected and should be on!!!!
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) October 22, 2021
Knicks’ fans, I know I was barely on your good side but any list that has Patrick Ewing on it needs to make SURE Dwight Howard is on it, because ain’t no WAY! Carry on…
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) October 22, 2021
DWIGHT HOWARD NOT TOP 75 ALL TIME!?!
— O’Shea Jack(Nichol)son (@OsheaJacksonJr) October 22, 2021
I completely agree, Iggy. To not include Kyrie in the top-75 is blasphemous https://t.co/GVOLlZcVk4
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 21, 2021
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.