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Giannis, Kevin Durant Headline Initial 25 on NBA's 75 Greatest Players List

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 20, 2021

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and James Harden are three of the top 75 players in NBA history.

The NBA announced it will reveal its 75th Anniversary Team consisting of the 75 best players in league history as part of its celebration of the 2021-22 campaign. The first 25 players on the list were announced during Tuesday's episode of TNT's NBA Tip-Off.

Here is a look at the players who were revealed Tuesday:

  • Hal Greer
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Bob Pettit
  • Oscar Robertson
  • Bill Russell
  • Kevin Durant
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Elvin Hayes
  • Jerry Lucas
  • Willis Reed
  • James Harden
  • Nate Archibald
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • Dave Cowens
  • Bob Cousy
  • George Mikan
  • Kevin McHale
  • John Stockton
  • Steve Nash
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Charles Barkley
  • Julius Erving
  • George Gervin
  • Moses Malone
  • David Robinson

The next 25 members will be announced Wednesday on ESPN's NBA Today, while the final 25 will be revealed Thursday on TNT's NBA Tip-Off.

"Twenty-five members of the team, representing a cross section of positions and eras from throughout the NBA's rich history, will be announced on each of the three days," the league's announcement read. "The team is being selected by a blue-ribbon panel of media and current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives."

The initial 25 players underscore the entire purpose of creating this team with multiple generations of legends on full display.

Players such as Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon who would undoubtedly be included on the list represent past generations, but the current game was well represented as well.

Antetokounmpo joins the list after winning his first championship, while all-time scorers such as Durant and Harden highlight the pace-and-space approach of today's offenses that allow the league's best players to stuff the stat sheet on a nightly basis.

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The theme of all-time legends who are synonymous with NBA history mixed in with the current generation will surely continue Wednesday and Thursday as the remaining 50 players are announced.

After all, the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and more are still waiting to hear their names called.              

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