For reference here is the list of the NBA’s 75 greatest players chosen by them
I agree with most of this list, but there are of course players I disagree with and players who I would have rather seen in this list.
First off, we have to mention that for the NBA, like always, ignores ABA history and ABA awards/stats which means that guys like Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore, George McGinnis, Roger Brown, Mel Daniels, Connie Hawkins and Spencer Haywood are getting neglected, as usual. This is unfair, but that NBA has chosen to ignore ABA history.
So there’s a few players I would swap out from the list.
-replace Tiny Archibald with Dennis Johnson. Tiny Archibald is a great player and led the league in scoring and assists in the same season, I get that. He’s also a 5x All-NBA player. However, I think DJ deserves it more. DJ has 3 championships as a top 3 player, he’s a 9x All-Def selection and considered one of the best defensive guards of his era. He also has a Finals MVP. He may not have had the raw stats of Tiny, but DJ’s impact with his teams was huge.
-replace Dave Bing with Tony Parker. Bing was a scoring guard who put up great numbers in his era, but had very little playoff success. I don’t think he was even the best player on his own team – Bob Lanier was, who also doesn’t appear on this list. Tony Parker on the other hand, has 4 championships, as many All-NBA selections, and a Finals MVP. Parker is more deserving.
-replace Pete Maravich with Tracy McGrady. Pistol Pete was a dynamic showman and a terrific scorer for his era, and he and Tmac both share some similarities in that they were both high scoring guards whose careers were shortened by injuries. Neither of them went very far in the playoffs. However, Tmac was a more complete player. He was a better defender, had better playoff numbers, more scoring titles, more all star appearances and more All-NBA selections. I rank Tmac higher than Pistol.
-replace Earl Monroe with Sidney Moncrief. Monroe was basically Pete but with less stats in every category. I get that he was a champion with the Knicks, but he was also playing on a loaded team. He was 1x All-NBA. ONE time. He was roughly about equal to Gail Goodrich, who didn’t make this list. Moncrief on the other hand has 4 more All-NBA selections, made 5 All-Def teams, and won 2 DPOYs. He deserves to make it over Monroe.
-replace Reggie Miller with Adrian Dantley. Dantley was an incredible scorer who led the league in scoring 2 times and was the most efficient midrange scoring forward ever. He has more All-Star appearances than Miller and made 2 All-NBA 2nd teams, whereas Miller never made any All-NBA 1st or 2nd teams. He averages 6 more PPG than Miller does. I think Dantley deserves it more.
-replace Lenny Wilkens with Pau Gasol. Pau is a 2x champion, made 2 All-NBA 2nd teams and was a crucial part of the Lakers 2-peat in the late 2000s. Wilkens was a player who had a decent prime where he was leader of the Sonics, but he never went to a Finals, nor was he ever All-NBA. Gasol deserves it over Wilkens.
-replace Nate Thurmond with Dwight Howard. I get that Nate the Great was an all time great defensive player and rebounder, but he was never All-NBA nor did he win anything. I realize that is because he played with Wilt, Kareem and Russell in the league, but still, his resume is a bit lacking. Dwight Howard is also an all time defensive presence and great rebounder, except with 3x DPOY, 8x All-NBA, 5x All-Def and a championship, also led a team to the Finals as the main guy. He has a better resume and he deserves it over Thurmond.
-replace Bill Sharman with Tom Heinsohn. Heinsohn was the more accomplished player out of these two, who both played on Russell’s Celtics. Heinsohn won 4 more championships, and was a top 3 player on 6 of his 8 championship teams. Sharman was not a top 3 player on any of his championship teams, in fact if you look up the stats, Heinsohn consistently did better than Sharman when they were both playing in the same Finals.
-replace Robert Parish with Nikola Jokic. This one might be a bit more controversial but remember that Damian Lillard made this list ok? Jokic is the league MVP. He is easily the best passing big man since Walton and Sabonis. He is one of the most unique centers in NBA history. Parish has never had these kinds of abilities, he was simply a solid third option on a great team that played for a really long time. So I would replace Parish with Jokic.
–replace Bill Walton with Neil Johnston. This is a player that most modern fans have never heard of, but he was the best center between Mikan and Russell. His accomplishments include: 6x all star, 5x all-nba, 3x scoring champ, 1 championship as the second best player on the Philly Warriors, led the league in win shares an astounding 4 years in a row, had a PER of 24.7 which is one of the top 5 highest PERs in NBA history, and a WS/48 of 0.241 which is also top 5 in NBA history. But because he played in the 1950s, nobody remembers him. Bill Walton of course, was a top 2 center in the league when he was healthy. He had one of the most impressive seasons ever in 1977 when he won the title and Finals MVP. However, he only had 2 healthy seasons. I don’t know if 2 healthy seasons is enough for top 75 all time. I would take Neil Johnston over him.
So those are the changes I would make. The rest of the list is ok to me.