All of the Lakers “Big Three” and two of the Nets “Big Three” were selected to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, making up nearly half of the 11 current players chosen as among the 75 greatest players of all-time.
LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis of the Lakers were all selected. In addition, Carmelo Anthony was named to the team. Kevin Durant and James Harden are on the list for Brooklyn but not Kyrie Irving who is not currently with the Nets but remains on their roster. Nets head coach Steve Nash was named to the team as well (and was among some current and former players on the selection panel.)
No other team had more one current player make the list. The 11 current players also include Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard and Damien Lillard.
Here’s the final list, announced over the past three days. Because of a tie between the final players selected, the list is actually 76 players long. And no, the league has not identified the players, nor any details on the balloting...
Both Durant and Harden were named in the first batch of names released Tuesday, Opening Night. Both reacted then, KD with joy gratitude, Harden with a bit of shock.
Beyond those two and Nash, there were several others on the list with strong Nets connections: ABA stars Julius Erving and Rick Barry; the architect of the Nets two Finals runs, Jason Kidd; former Celtics and briefly Nets Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Snubs? Irving and former Net Vince Carter were among those who critics of the list suggested should have made the team. Tony Parker, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady and Pau Gasol were also left off the list.
The anniversary team follows by a quarter century the league’s popular 50th anniversary team. All 50 of those players retained their place on the list.