The NBA is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary all season long during 2021-22, and part of that celebration includes the unveiling of the list of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. It has been 25 years since the league unveiled its list of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, which tipped off a season-long celebration of the NBA’s 50th anniversary in 1996. During halftime of the 1997 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland, 47 of the 50 members of that team were honored in person. The 2022 All-Star Game is once again slated to return to Cleveland as a nod to that moment.
The NBA’s 75th anniversary team was selected by a blue-ribbon panel of media, current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives. The first 25 members of that team, representing a cross-section of positions and era’s from throughout the NBA’s history, was unveiled Tuesday night. The next 25 members will be announced Wednesday on NBA Today (3 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN app), and the final 25 players will complete the list Thursday on TNT at 6 p.m. ET.
The complete list of players announced so far is below.
Stats: 24.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.6 APG in 20 seasons with Milwaukee Bucks (1969-70 to 1974-75) and Los Angeles Lakers (1975-76 to 1988-89); NBA’s career leader in total points.
Accomplishments: 19-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA, 11-time All-Defensive Team, six-time MVP, two-time Finals MVP, 1969-70 Rookie of the Year, two-time scoring champ, four-time blocks champ, 1975-76 rebounding champ, six-time NBA champion.
Stats: 20.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 4.5 APG in eight seasons with Milwaukee Bucks (2013-14 to 2020-21)*.
Accomplishments: Five-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA, four-time All-Defensive team, two-time MVP, 2019-20 Defensive Player of the Year, 2016-17 Most Improved Player, 2021 Finals MVP, 2021 NBA champion.
Stats: 18.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 7.4 APG in 13 seasons with Cincinnati Royals/KC-Omaha/Kansas City Kings (1970-71 to 1975-76), New York Nets (1976-77), Boston Celtics (1978-79 to 1982-83) and Milwaukee Bucks (1983-84).
Accomplishments: Six-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA, 1972-73 scoring and assists champ, 1981 All-Star MVP, 1981 NBA champion.
Stats: 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG in 16 seasons with Philadelphia 76ers (1984-85 to 1991-92), Phoenix Suns (1992-93 to 1995-96) and Houston Rockets (1996-97 to 1999-00).
Accomplishments: 11-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA, 1992-93 MVP, 1991 All-Star MVP, 1986-87 rebounding champ.
Stats: 18.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 7.5 APG in 14 seasons with Boston Celtics (1950-51 to 1962-63) and Cincinnati Royals (1969-70).
Accomplishments: 13-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA, eight-time assists champ, 1956-57 NBA MVP, two-time All-Star MVP, six-time NBA champion.
Stats: 17.6 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 3.8 APG in 11 seasons with Boston Celtics (1970-71 to 1979-80) and Milwaukee Bucks (1982-83).
Accomplishments: 8-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA, three-time All-Defensive team, 1972-73 MVP, 1973 All-Star MVP, 1970-71 Rookie of the Year, two-time NBA champion.
Stats: 27.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.2 APG in 14 seasons with Seattle SuperSonics (2007-08), Oklahoma City Thunder (2008-09 to 2015-16), Golden State Warriors (2016-17 to 2018-19) and Brooklyn Nets (2019-20 to 2020-21)*.
Accomplishments: 11-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA, 2013-14 MVP, 2007-08 Rookie of the Year, two-time All-Star MVP, two-time Finals MVP, four-time scoring champ, two-time NBA champion.
Stats: 22.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.9 APG in 11 NBA seasons with Philadelphia 76ers (1976-77 to 1986-87); also played five ABA seasons with Virginia Squires (1971-72 to 1972-73) and New York Nets (1973-74 to 1975-76).
Accomplishments: 11-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA, 1980-81 NBA MVP, two-time NBA All-Star MVP, 1983 NBA champion.
Stats: 26.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.8 APG in 10 NBA seasons with San Antonio Spurs (1976-77 to 1984-85) and Chicago Bulls (1985-86); also played four ABA seasons with Virginia Squires (1972-73 to 1973-74) and San Antonio Spurs (1973-74 to 1975-76).
Accomplishments: Nine-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA, 1980 All-Star MVP, four-time scoring champ.
Stats: 19.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG in 15 seasons with Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers (1958-59 to 1972-73).
Accomplishments: 10-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA, 1968 All-Star MVP, 1967 NBA champion.
Stats: 25.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 6.5 APG in 12 seasons with Oklahoma City Thunder (2009-10 to 2011-12), Houston Rockets (2012-13 to 2020-21) and Brooklyn Nets (2020-21)*.
Accomplishments: Nine-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA, three-time scoring champ, 2016-17 assist champ, 2017-18 MVP, 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year.
Stats: 21.0 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 1.8 APG in 16 season with San Diego/Houston Rockets (1968-69 to 1971-72; 1981-82 to 1983-84) and Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets (1972-73 to 1980-81) .
Accomplishments: 12-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA, two-time All-Defensive team, 1968-69 scoring champ, two-time rebounding champ, 1978 NBA champion.
Stats: 17.0 PPG, 15.6 RPG, 3.3 APG in 11 seasons with Cincinnati Royals (1963-64 to 1969-70), San Francisco Warriors (1969-70 to 1970-71) and New York Knicks (1971-72 to 1973-74).
Accomplishments: Seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA, 1963-64 Rookie of the Year, 1965 All-Star MVP, 1973 NBA champion.
Stats: 20.6 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 1.3 BPG in 19 NBA seasons with Buffalo Braves (1976-77), Houston Rockets (1976-77 to 1981-82), Philadelphia 76ers (1982-83 to 1985-86; 1993-94), Washington Bullets (1986-87 to 1987-88), Atlanta Hawks (1988-89 to 1990-91), Milwaukee Bucks (1991-92 to 1992-93) and San Antonio Spurs (1994-95); also played two ABA seasons with Utah Stars (1974-75) and Spirits of St. Louis (1975-76).
Accomplishments: 12-time NBA All-Star, eight-time All-NBA, two-time All-Defensive team, three-time MVP, 1983 Finals MVP, six-time rebounding champ, 1983 NBA champion.
Stats: 17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG in 13 seasons with Boston Celtics (1980-81 to 1992-93).
Accomplishments: Seven-time All-Star, 1986-87 All-NBA, six-time All-Defensive team, two-time Sixth Man of the Year, three-time NBA champion.
Stats: 23.1 PPG, 13.4 RPG, 2.8 APG in seven seasons with Minneapolis Lakers (1948-49 to 1955-56).
Accomplishments: 4-time All-Star, six-time All-BAA/NBA, 1953 All-Star MVP, three-time scoring champ, 1952-53 rebounding champ, five-time BAA/NBA champion.
Stats: 14.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 8.5 APG in 18 seasons with Phoenix Suns (1996-97 to 1997-98; 2004-05 to 2011-12), Dallas Mavericks (1998-99 to 2003-04) and Los Angeles Lakers (2012-13 to 2013-14).
Accomplishments: Eight-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA, five-time assists champ, two-time MVP.
Stats: 20.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.4 APG in 21 seasons with Dallas Mavericks (1998-99 to 2018-19).
Accomplishments: 14-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA, 2006-07 MVP, 2011 Finals MVP, 2011 NBA champion.
Stats: 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 3.1 BPG in 18 seasons with Houston Rockets (1984-85 to 2000-01) and Toronto Raptors (2001-02); NBA’s career leader in total blocks.
Accomplishments: 12-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA, nine-time All-Defensive team, 1993-94 MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, two-time Finals MVP, two-time rebounding champ, three-time blocks champ, two-time NBA champion.
Stats: 26.4 PPG, 16.2 RPG, 3.0 APG in 11 seasons with Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks (1954-55 to 1964-65).
Accomplishments: 11-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA, two-time MVP, four-time All-Star MVP, two-time scoring champ, 1958 NBA champion.
Stats: 18.7 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 1.8 APG in 10 seasons with New York Knicks (1964-65 to 1973-74).
Accomplishments: Seven-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA, 1969-70 All-Defensive team, 1969-70 NBA MVP, 1964-65 Rookie of the Year, 1970 All-Star MVP, two-time Finals MVP, two-time NBA champion.
Stats: 25.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 9.5 APG in 14 seasons with Cincinnati Royals (1960-61 to 1969-70) and Milwaukee Bucks (1970-71 to 1973-74).
Accomplishments: 12-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA, 1963-64 MVP, 1960-61 Rookie of the Year, three-time All-Star MVP, six-time assists champ, 1971 NBA champion.
Stats: 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.0 BPG in 14 seasons with San Antonio Spurs (1989-90 to 2002-03).
Accomplishments: 10-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Defensive, 1994-95 MVP, 1991-92 Defensive Player of the Year, 1989-90 Rookie of the Year, 1993-94 scoring champ, 1990-91 rebounding champ, 1991-92 blocks champ, two-time NBA champion.
Stats: 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APG in 13 seasons with Boston Celtics (1956-57 to 1968-69).
Accomplishments: 12-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA, five-time MVP, 1963 All-Star MVP, four-time rebounding champ, 11-time NBA champion.
Stats: 13.1 PPG, 10.5 APG, 2.2 SPG in 19 seasons with Utah Jazz (1984-85 to 2002-03); NBA’s career leader in total assists and steals.
Accomplishments: 10-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA, five-time All-Defensive team, nine-time assists champ, two-time steals champ, 1993 All-Star MVP.
*All stats/accomplishments for active players are entering the 2021-22 season.
Dallas Mavericks get Kristaps Porzingis, coach Jason Kidd back from health and safety protocols
DALLAS — Mavericks power forward/center Kristaps Porzingis has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols after missing the past seven games and is expected to play in Saturday night’s home game against the Orlando Magic.
Mavericks coach Jason Kidd also cleared the protocols.
Dallas won six of the seven games missed by Porzingis, who is averaging 20.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. The Mavs went 3-1 during Kidd’s absence, when defensive coordinator Sean Sweeney served as the acting head coach.
A source said Porzingis felt well in recent days and had been able to do individual workouts.
Porzingis’ clearance makes center Marquese Chriss ineligible to play for the Mavericks while he remains on a 10-day hardship deal that expires Thursday.
Sources said the Mavericks are considering their options to sign Chriss for the remainder of the season, which would require a move to create an open roster spot.
Chriss has played in 12 games over three 10-day deals with the Mavericks, averaging 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game while shooting 63% from the floor.
Chicago Bulls star guard Zach LaVine to have MRI on injured left knee
LaVine did not travel with the team to Boston for its matchup against the Celtics on Saturday night, and instead will remain in Chicago to receive an MRI. There’s initial confidence that he hasn’t suffered a serious injury, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
LaVine appeared to begin laboring after grabbing an offensive rebound with just under nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. On the next play, he took an intentional foul on Warriors guard Stephen Curry before taking himself out of the game.
He immediately walked toward the Bulls’ locker room with a team trainer, but LaVine was able to move under his own power.
“The MRI will tell a lot more once he gets that done,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said after the game. “I don’t want to sit here and speculate … he kind of came down a little funny, and he’s got some discomfort there right now and they want to take a look. He didn’t feel like he could return.”
LaVine is averaging 25.6 points on 49% shooting (41% from 3), 4.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 37 games for the Bulls this season.
The Warriors took over following LaVine’s injury, closing the first half on a 64-37 run. The Bulls lost by 42 points on Friday after losing by 26 points to the Nets on Wednesday. It’s the first time a conference leader has lost consecutive games by an average of 30 points since the NBA went to two conferences in 1970, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
“These two games should be all the motivation that we need to step up, play hard, play for one another,” Bulls star DeMar DeRozan said. “It’s just another challenge that we got to face. We can’t complain about it. Can’t whine about it. Can’t look for no extra help. It’s on us.”
Joel Embiid – ‘No urgency to change anything’ on surging Philadelphia 76ers
PHILADELPHIA — After beating the Boston Celtics to win for the ninth time in 11 games Friday night, 76ers superstar Joel Embiid said “there’s really no urgency to change anything” with his team with just under four weeks to go until the NBA’s trade deadline.
“I feel great, man,” Embiid said, after finishing with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists in Philadelphia’s comfortable 111-99 victory over its old rivals here at Wells Fargo Center.
“When I look at where we are when we got most of the team in the lineup, especially me in the lineup, then we are 21 and 9. That’s not bad. That’s up there with the best records in the NBA. So, all that tells me is that we just got to stay healthy, keep doing what we’ve been doing.
“I feel pretty good, and I don’t think we’ve played our best basketball yet. We still got a long way to go. We’re missing guys here and there that could really help us. There’s really no urgency to change anything. I think we got everything we need. We’re gonna keep on going and I’m happy.”
The 76ers have played this entire season with All-Star guard Ben Simmons sitting out, as his ongoing trade demand goes unfulfilled. Still, when Embiid has been on the court, Philadelphia has won 70% of its games and has outscored its opponents by 6.9 points per 100 possessions.
The possibility of a Simmons trade — and what it could get Philadelphia in return — has loomed over the 76ers all season, however, ever since Simmons refused to report to the start of training camp in September.
But Embiid said he believes the Sixers are good enough to win with the players they have available to them right now — though he admitted that it would require the 76ers to play near-perfect basketball.
“I think so,” he said. “I think we all gotta, we all gotta be our best. And when we are at our best, I think we can beat anybody. We’ve seen it a couple of times this year. So, I just think we need to, I need to keep doing what I’ve been doing and then obviously we need consistency from everybody, not just Tobias [Harris] or Tyrese [Maxey] or Seth [Curry] or Danny [Green], guys coming off the bench, getting Shake [Milton] back [healthy].
“We need consistency, and everybody coming in every single night with the goal of just doing their job and chipping in offensively and defensively and just playing together and we’ll be fine.”
Philadelphia (24-17) was more than fine against Boston (21-22) Friday night, jumping on the Celtics with a 28-2 run in the first quarter and never looking back.
For Boston, it was a quick fall back to earth after some brief sparks of life during a season-long three-game winning streak. But with Marcus Smart out due to the health and safety protocols, the Celtics got nothing from his replacement, Dennis Schroder, who missed all six shots he took in 25 minutes and was called for a flagrant foul 1 for pushing 76ers forward Matisse Thybulle in the back on a dunk attempt.
Thybulle landed very hard on his back, and while he initially stayed in the game, he later left with right shoulder soreness. Before exiting, he had five steals and two blocks for a 76ers team that created 20 turnovers and scored 31 points off them.
“This was a tough night,” said Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, who finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists but had as many made field goals (7-for-17) as turnovers (7). “I don’t think we had any nights like this where … obviously, we’ve had some nights when we’ve started slow, but most of the time, we give ourselves a chance.
“For whatever reason, it was one of those nights where we just started slow and never [recovered].”
For Philadelphia, it was an emphatic bounce-back performance from Wednesday’s loss here to the Charlotte Hornets, a defeat that snapped the 76ers’ seven-game winning streak. Embiid said that Charlotte’s ball movement gave the Sixers a lot of trouble, whereas Boston’s more isolation-heavy offense was easier to guard.
“If you compare, you know, tonight from the other night, it’s kind of easier to guard,” Embiid said. “Charlotte, they move the ball extremely well. They have shooters all over the place, and they made a bunch of jump shots. Obviously, Boston is more of an iso-heavy team. So it kind of becomes easier to kind of load up and try to stop them.”
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