Quick Timeout: The NBA's 75th Anniversary Team

October 22, 2021, 4:00 PM ● NBA.com Philippines Staff

What are your thoughts on the 75th Anniversary Team? The NBA.com Philippines squad shares their initial reactions.

The NBA has revealed the complete 75th Anniversary Team. Members of the NBA.com Philippines editorial team share their initial reactions on the complete list of players. 

Editor’s note: The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its teams, and Smart Communications, Inc.

JC Ansis: Making these kinds of lists is always going to be difficult—let me just get that out of the way. Nothing against the people who were part of the voting process, but when I saw the 75 (well, 75 + 1) players, there were about four or five names I would have replaced with other guys. It would have been nice to see Vince Carter, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Pau Gasol make the cut, but like I said, these decisions are tough and you just can't please everyone. But this list just shows that the NBA has been graced by so many incredibly talented players who have greatly contributed to the growth and evolution of the league.

Chuck Araneta: If you’re asking me what my honest opinion is of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, I would say they nailed it… for the most part. As my fellow writers said, you will never be able to please everyone with these kinds of lists. We went through this when the 50 Greatest Players came out, and the same thing happens every year during the announcement of All-Star lineups. That’s the nature of these kinds of subjective lists. Unless there are specific categories that each player has to check off to be eligible, then we open it up to scrutiny and criticism. And that’s okay! That’s what makes this league what it is; it’s fueled by passionate fans who stand behind their favorite player no matter the arguments thrown their way. Picking only 75 players out of hundreds of legends will always hurt feelings. There is probably a list of 75 others that can make the list. And that will ensure that the conversation will happen for another 25 years. Can’t wait for the NBA’s 100th Anniversary Team!

Miguel Flores: My biggest concern when the league announced that they were doing a 75th Anniversary Team was if the 50 players from the 1996 anniversary squad were going to be automatically included. If one player from that initial 50 list wasn't included, it would have felt almost like historical erasure. Thankfully, all 50 of those players were included in this year's list. One thing the league could have done better was to highlight the pioneers and the lesser-known legends that they announced over the last three days, especially on social media where most of their younger demographic resides. Still, it's a nice bit of respite that some of the league's first stars like George Mikan and Bob Pettit and lesser heralded legends like Nate Thurmond, Dave Bing, and Bob MacAdoo got a bit of shine. The NBA has a rich history that even the league hasn't fully celebrated through the years.

Jon Carlos Rodriguez: Listing down the 75 greatest NBA players is a fun exercise, no different from picking the 75 greatest pizza toppings of all time. Such lists evoke a spectrum of emotions and break open a deep bank of memories. They’re all going to be awesome. So why are a lot of people unhappy? Probably because these types of lists can be personal. When I see a list of 75 of the greatest something, I need to see my favorites in there. My point is, Vince Carter should be on the list of 75 greatest players. Just like anchovies should be on the list of greatest pizza toppings. Don’t @ me.

Charmie Lising: It's great that all members of the 50th team made it (imagine if you're one of the OGs then you get dropped in favor of the newbies), but my initial thought is that the 75th season announcement could have focused more on the additional 25 (+1). Sure, it's nice to highlight the first 50 and give them their flowers, but I still think there should have been a separate recognition for the new ones. Also, any all-time lists that involve voting are expected to invite debates on who should or should not be included, but it would be better if there's transparency in the criteria used.

Yoyo Sarmenta: Any kind of all-time list, but particularly the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team will obviously create a ton of discussion about which other players should have made it. That’s normal. I’m sure there was an extensive review for all the nominees and the voting panel tried to cover all the bases. That being said, I wish they released the criteria for getting into the top 75. Should there be a minimum number of All-NBA or All-Defensive selections? How many All-Star appearances should be considered? Should the player be a top-five leader in one of the major statistical categories? Of course, championships are always the talk of the town so that’s a no-brainer requirement as well. Is there a hidden x-factor that we’re missing? Among the categories, which ones weighed more and what were their equivalent values on the ballot? I’m confident all these things were taken into consideration but maybe a better approach at least would be to announce the criteria similar to what the WNBA did when they unveiled their W25 list. Debates are common for any list but declaring a certain basis would at least give the discussions a little more direction. 

Renee Ticzon: So… why is the reigning MVP not part of the list? Sure, I’m a Nikola Jokic fan so I’m a bit more biased. But to not have him on the list, even as a +1, makes no sense to me. If we’re talking about the greatest players since the league started, I’m sure a player who beat record after record in a season where he played 72 games should make the cut.


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