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Three active NBA stars snubbed from the 75th Anniversary Team

Joshua Rogers October 22, 2021
Los Angeles Lakers v Brooklyn Nets - NBA China Games 2019
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The NBA marked its 75th anniversary by announcing an Anniversary Team comprising the top 75 players in the league’s history. By and large the judges got it right but there were still a number of surprise omissions. Here’s the current NBA stars snubbed from the 75th Anniversary team.

The 2021-22 season marks the 75th anniversary of the NBA.

To celebrate that milestone, the league has released a list of its 75 greatest players.

25 years ago the NBA unveiled its list of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

However, with a quarter of a century having passed there was room for 25 players to be added.

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The 75th Anniversary Team was selected by a panel of current and former NBA players, coaches, general managers, team and league executives, WNBA legends, and sportswriters and broadcasters. 

In total, 11 active players were voted on to the list.

They are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

Unsurprisingly with a list like that, there have been a number of perceived snubs of players retired or still active.

Here’s three active NBA players who’ll be more than peeved about being left off the team.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Dwight Howard

The Lakers big man is arguably the biggest snub of all current NBA players.

Dwight’s first nine years in the league were some of the most dominant we’ve seen from a center since the days of Shaq.

The Orlando Magic no.1 overall pick set numerous franchise and league records with the organisation, beating LeBron’s Cavs on the way to the 2009 NBA Finals.

And while his years post-2009 waned slightly, Dwight’s résumé compares favourably with a number of players on the Anniversary Team.

Here’s just a few of his achievements:

  • NBA champion
  • 8 x All-NBA
  • 8 x All-Star
  • 5 x rebound leader
  • 3 x DPOY
  • 2 x blocks leader
  • 2nd in MVP voting (2011)

Howard also has more All-NBA selections (eight) than any other player left off the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.

He has as many All-NBA selections as Dave DeBusschere, Kevin McHale, Earl Monroe, Dennis Rodman, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy combined.

Finally, every player with 13,000 rebounds and 2,000 blocks made the 75th Anniversary Team, except Howard.

Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving

Say what you like about Kyrie Irving’s off-court persona, on-court he’s one of the most supremely talented guards the league has ever seen.

Irving is a seven-time All Star, an NBA champion, an NBA All-Star Game MVP, former NBA rookie of the year, and has made one All-NBA Second Team.

His three-point shot over Steph Curry in the 2016 NBA Finals remains one of the clutches shots in NBA history.

Kyrie’s omission is even more puzzling given the inclusion of Damian Lillard, who only has six All-Star appearances and has never been to the Finals.

Andre Iguodala thinks Irving is top 20 all time, never mind top 75…

Paul George

PG-13 has got a lot of flack following his underwhelming performances in the playoffs.

Having said that, there’s no doubting his abilites as one of the best wing defenders in recent years.

His CV speaks for itself too.

George is a seven-time All-Star, six-time member of the All-NBA Team, and four-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team.

He is also a former NBA most improved player, 2019 steals leader, and finished third in MVP voting in 2019.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson may also have a claim of being included.

The injured shooting guard seemed aggrieved on social media, posting the following to his IG:

Retired players snubbed for NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team

Of course, it wasn’t just active NBA players snubbed for the 75th Anniversary Team. A number of Hall of Famers and NBA legends could have easily made the team too.

Some of the most obvious include Dikembe Mutombo, Walt Bellamy, Grant Hill, Bernard King, Artis Gilmore, Penny Hardaway, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Pau Gasol, and Tony Parker.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.