Over the NBA All-Star weekend, the league celebrated its 75th anniversary by introducing the world to its 75th anniversary team. A select few of former players, and media members got to vote on the anniversary team and the votes were tallied to give us the NBA's best 75 (76) players of all time. Whenever a list like this is made, there will be players who are left off of the list, that both fans and other players will say was snubbed. Let's look at the cases for some of those "snubbed" players.
Photo via Bleacher Report
Dwight Howard is the biggest snub from the NBA's 75th anniversary team. Usually, I would attach a qualifier next to that sentence, like, in my opinion, or according to most fans. I didn't add that type of qualifier because Howard not being on the 75th anniversary team is down right criminal. Howard's resume is better than a lot of the power forwards and centers who made the cut. Howard is a three time defensive player of the year, five-time rebounding champion, and two-time blocks champion. The goofy big man is also a five-time All-NBA 1st team member along with eight all-star selections. Howard averaged 18.3 points, 13 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game during his time with the Orlando Magic.
Whenever you say someone was snubbed from a list, you have to follow that up with who does not belong on the list. So, who would I take off of the NBA's top 75 to add Dwight Howard. The first person who comes to mind is Anthony Davis. Davis is a supreme talent and on the offensive end of the floor is light years better than Howard was in his prime but Davis' inability to stay on the floor should be taken into account. Howard has played 70 or more games in 12 of his first 17 seasons. Davis has only played 70 or more games twice in first nine seasons and won't reach that mark again this season. Howard's rebounding numbers tower over Davis' in his first ten seasons and Davis has never led the league in that stat. I would take Anthony Davis off of the team for Dwight Howard.
Photo courtesy of Sporting News
A name that I have seen brought up as a snub by both fans and other sports publications is Tony Parker. The long time San Antonio Spur has a great resume that includes six appearances in the all-star game, four NBA Championships, along with one NBA-Finals MVP. The big question is how does Parker's resume compare to the guards who did make the cut.
The first name that came to mind was Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is a polarizing player to say the least and is not having a good year with the Lakers, this season. So how does Parker's resume compare to Westbrook's. I am not the biggest Westbrook fan but I have to give credit where it's due. You can't have an NBA anniversary team without the guy who averaged a triple-double in multiple seasons. Westbrook also won a regular season MVP and was the lead guy on playoff teams. Parker never had the opportunity to be the best guy on a team but its hard to picture him carrying a squad the same way Westbrook did. So I have to go with Westbrook over Parker.
Damian Lillard is another player whose placement on the anniversary team has been questioned. Lillard is another player who has been the best player on his team for a long time. Both Lillard and Parker are six time all-stars but Parker had the playoff success that Lillard is searching for. I can't penalize Lillard for not playing with other top 75 players like Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard. The top 75 team is about the best individual players and team success definitely plays a part but should not be the determining factor. Lillard's average season stats of 24.6 points and 6.6 assists per game are better than's Parker's best season of 22 points and 7 assists per game. Parker had a great career but there is no one on the list who I can take off for him.
Photo provided by USA Today
Klay Thompson is known for being one of the best three point shooters of all time, a great perimeter defender, and one of the most "chill" members of the recent Golden State Warriors dynasty. Thompson was anything but chill after the list for the NBA top 75 came out without his name on it. Thompson would even say, "I guess winning doesn't matter." So does he have a real case when it comes to being on the list over other wing players that made it?
Thompson has a similar case to Tony Parker as he has been a vital part of incredible team success. He was the second best offensive player and second best defensive player on the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors and then the third best offensive player on two more championship teams after the Warriors added Kevin Durant.
When making a case for Thompson, the first wing player on the list that comes to mind for me is James Worthy. Worthy and Thompson have some similarities as they played along side generational superstars in Steph Curry and Magic Johnson. They are both three-time NBA champions and were the third offensive option on those teams. Even with being the third option, both players are known for coming through in big moments. James Worthy will forever be known as "Big Game" James and whenever Klay Thompson gets hot, people will say this is "Game 6" Klay. The differences between the two come with the eras that they played in. Thompson is an all-time great three point shooter while Worthy played in an era where the three point shot was still very new and not used anywhere near the volume it is today. Worthy was also not known as a defensive stopper the way Klay is. So while Klay is a better defender and shooter, Worthy does have a big chip on his side with his NBA Finals MVP trophy.
I am really torn between Thompson and Worthy. Both of these players are all-time great stars, not superstars but players who helped their teams in major ways and are essential to winning. I have to go with Worthy over Thompson by a very small margin, based on Worthy's ability to be a guy you can give the ball to and say go get a bucket. Worthy just happened to play for the Lakers so he was the third best player on a great team, when he could of been the best player on a good team. While Thompson could also be the best player on a good team, that team would have a shorter ceiling because Thompson needs more help to go off on one of those scoring sprees.
Who are some of the other players that you feel were snubbed? Please leave a comment on this article or on social media letting me know who else should be discussed as top 75 snubs.