Recently the NBA came out with their 75th anniversary team. In it were some surprising choices, which is why a number of names that need to get removed and replaced.

So it’s time to start with the players that do not belong. Carmelo Anthony, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Bill Walton, and James Worthy. Then the question becomes who becomes their replacement?


Replacing Worthy is Chris Mullin. Simply put how could he not get included? Especially since Magic Johnson pretty much admitted “when God made basketball. He just carved Chris Mullin out.”

To put in perspective Mullin accomplished a feat only one other franchise player has accomplished with the Golden State Warriors. His name, Wilt Chamberlain. Not even Stephen Curry has achieved this feat. Which is averaging over 25 points per game over five consecutive seasons.

Overall he averaged 18.2 points per game.

In the place of Nowitzki, Mitch Richmond. The player that Michael Jordan said “was the hardest shooting guard to defend.” Overall he averaged 21 points per game for his career, he was the model of consistency.

Richmond only recorded one season where he averaged under double digits, which was the last season of his career. At 6’5″ 220 he could punish smaller defenders in the post and his jumper was deadly. He shot 38.8 percent from beyond the arc for his career and ranks 50th all-time in three-pointers.

This quite possibly is the easiest name to remove from the list. Nash definitely doesn’t deserve the recognition. One of the worst defensive players of all-time. He constantly gave up career nights to mediocre point guards. The simple fix here is Klay Thompson.

Sure his offensive game has some flaws. He is not really known for his ability to put the ball on the floor. Still he is one of the best shooters of all-time, trailing only Curry his own Warriors teammate. Yet when he catches rhythm there really isn’t a way to stop him. Ask the Sacramento Kings franchise when he scored 37 points in only one quarter or when he dropped in 60 points in only 29 minutes of action.

When Thompson is healthy and hopefully he will return soon, he is the best defensive shooting guard in the NBA.

Nowitzki is tough to leave off. All that scoring, yet no rebounding. Not only that, never recorded a single season averaging a double-double. He did have that playoff run where he beat some stellar teams to win the NBA Championship. Yet that doesn’t offset the 67 win Dallas Mavericks team that lost to the no.8 seeded Warriors.

This was the series where Stephen Jackson pushed Nowitzki around and held him to 38.3 percent shooting and 21.1 percent from three. The replacement for him is, Artis Gilmore one of the most overlooked centers of all-time.

Gilmore easily averaged a double-double for his career. His best NBA season was in 1978-1979 when he averaged 23.7 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.9 blocks.

One of the best scorers in NBA history has become a journeyman. Anthony’s problem according to his former head coach George Karl is that “he likes to score more than he likes to play defense.” It’s one of the reasons the Denver Nuggets found it difficult to get out of the first rounds of the playoffs.

With that being said if Dennis Rodman makes this list, it is definitely not because of his offense. It was all about his ability to rebound the basketball. Now the question becomes why is there not another player who was more known for their defense than offense? That doesn’t make much sense.

Meaning that it is fitting that he gets replaced by a former Nugget as well, Dikembe Mutombo.

Quite possibly one of the most recognized images in NBA history was the one of Mutumbo falling to the floor showcasing all his emotions while clutching a basketball in both hands. He won four Defensive Player of the Year Awards, ranks 20th all-time in total rebounds, and second all-time in blocks.

Recency bias may have what included Davis. Yet, he doesn’t belong on the list. He’s a power forward with a limited skill-set with great athleticism. Yet, as usual some of the great point guards the NBA has seen don’t get any recognition.

Which is why Kevin Johnson enters the picture here. His athleticism, unmatched at the time and he’s famous for posterizing big men including Hakeem Olajuwon and John “Hot Rod” Williams.

Johnson after being acquired by the Phoenix Suns during the 1987-1988 season went on to have nearly four consecutive 20 and 10 seasons. With his best in 1989-1990 when he averaged 22.5 points, 11.4 assits, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.

Not sure how Leonard snuck on. He’s been injured a lot throughout his career. When he is healthy he is among the best NBA players. Currently he is not expected to play this season due to knee surgery after partially tearing his ACL.

In his place, Vince Carter. How is he not included? One of the best dunkers in NBA history. He put the Toronto Raptors on the map with his stellar play and was tremendous while with the New Jersey now Brooklyn Nets.

He also became an excellent role player after his prime years and retired after the 2019-2020 season at the age of 43. Overall he averaged 16.7 points in 1,541 games.

Harden is not that difficult to keep off. His entire game, predicated on one thing and one thing only, flopping. He will also get remembered for being part of the Houston Rockets team that missed 27 consecutive three-pointers in the playoffs against the Warriors and in another playoff series committing 13 turnovers.

Now that the NBA is cracking down on offensive players creating contact only time will tell how effective he will become. He’s also not known for his ability to defend either.

To take Harden’s place is Chris Webber. He recently got inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. One of the most famous highlights for him was dunking over the legendary Charles Barkley as a rookie.

His only blemish during his career were injuries. Overall he averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds.

Antetokounmpo doesn’t belong because it took till his fourth season to make an impact, he’s only played 591 games in his career. He will get there, yet he doesn’t belong here yet. In his place one of the most underrated point guards in NBA history, Guy Rodgers.

He led the NBA in assists twice, including a career-high of 11.2 in 1966-1967.

One of the most overrated players in the league’s history is Walton. He couldn’t stay healthy and there is absolutely no reason for him to even get mentioned. He only played in 468 games. Now Alonzo Mourning makes much more sense.

He played in 838 games, came back to the NBA afer having a kidney transplant. Mourning had multiple seasons of averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds. He also ranks 12th all-time in blocks and sixth in blocks per game.

As for the most difficult that is Lillard. He is clutch. Yet, the Portland Trail Blazers are consistently disappointments in the playoffs. So who to take in his place? Tim Hardaway. Like Webber, injuries did take a toll.

Yet when he was healthy he nearly had three consecutive seasons of at least 20 points per game and 10 assists per game. Hardaway was known for what got termed the “killer crossover.” He used that move to get to the basket against some of the greatest defensive players in NBA history which included John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Gary Payton, Alvin Robertson, Scottie Pippen, and Jordan.

So here is the updated list with the new additions.

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  2. Ray Allen
  3. Nate Archibald
  4. Paul Arizin
  5. Charles Barkley
  6. Rick Barry
  7. Elgin Baylor
  8. Dave Bing
  9. Larry Bird
  10. Kobe Bryant
  11. Vince Carter
  12. Wilt Chamberlain
  13. Bob Cousy
  14. Dave Cowens
  15. Billy Cunningham
  16. Stephen Curry
  17. Dave DeBusschere
  18. Clyde Drexler
  19. Tim Duncan
  20. Kevin Durant
  21. Julius Erving
  22. Patrick Ewing
  23. Walt Frazier
  24. Kevin Garnett
  25. George Gervin
  26. Artis Gilmore
  27. Hal Greer
  28. Tim Hardaway
  29. John Havlicek
  30. Elvin Hayes
  31. Allen Iverson
  32. LeBron James
  33. Kevin Johnson
  34. Magic Johnson
  35. Sam Jones
  36. Michael Jordan
  37. Jason Kidd
  38. Jerry Lucas
  39. Karl Malone
  40. Moses Malone
  41. Pete Maravich
  42. Bob McAdoo
  43. Kevin McHale
  44. George Mikan
  45. Reggie Miller
  46. Earl Monroe
  47. Alonzo Mourning
  48. Chris Mullin
  49. Dikembe Mutombo
  50. Shaquille O’Neal
  51. Hakeem Olajuwon
  52. Robert Parish
  53. Chris Paul
  54. Gary Payton
  55. Bob Pettit
  56. Paul Pierce
  57. Scottie Pippen
  58. Willis Reed
  59. Mitch Richmond
  60. Oscar Robertson
  61. David Robinson
  62. Guy Rodgers
  63. Dennis Rodman
  64. Bill Russell
  65. Dolph Schayes
  66. Bill Sharman
  67. John Stockton
  68. Isiah Thomas
  69. Klay Thompson
  70. Nate Thurmond
  71. Wes Unseld
  72. Dwyane Wade
  73. Chris Webber
  74. Jerry West
  75. Russell Westbrook
  76. Lenny Wilkens
  77. Dominique Wilkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

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