NBA75: Meet the best players in league history

NBA

The NBA is celebrating its 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 eras 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 on 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 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: Eight-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 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 NBA 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 NBA All-Defensive team, three-time NBA MVP, 1983 Finals MVP, six-time NBA 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 team, 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.

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