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Lakers News: Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard React to NBA's 75 Greatest Players

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIOctober 22, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony (7) stands during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

The 2021-22 NBA season got underway Tuesday night, and there's already been some great action over the past three days. There should be plenty more to come over the next eight months, too.

This isn't just any season, though. This year's campaign marks the NBA's 75th anniversary season. And the league is taking the time to honor the all-time greats and reflect on its illustrious history, while also looking to the future and everything that is to come.

One way that the NBA has looked back at the past is with its 75h anniversary team, which was revealed throughout the week. There were 76 players selected via voting by a star-studded panel, with one extra person making the team because of a tie.

While the team is filled with legends from the past, there were 11 active players who made it. And of those 11, four play for the Los Angeles Lakers: Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.

Anthony and Westbrook have each played only one game for the Lakers (Tuesday's season-opening loss to the Golden State Warriors), but they've both already had impressive careers to this point. Anything that the two accomplish in Los Angeles will just boost their strong resumes.

On Thursday, Anthony tweeted about what it meant for him to be selected to the 75th anniversary team:

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Carmelo Anthony @carmeloanthony

People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get. - James Baldwin I’m humbled by the names I’m joining on this list. Thank you to the teammates, coaches, and fans along the way who’ve lived this dream with me. #STAYME7O #NBA75 https://t.co/qODlryLsHU

Anthony is a 10-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA selection who has spent the majority of his career with the Denver Nuggets (eight seasons) and New York Knicks (seven). He's also played two seasons for the Portland Trail Blazers and one each with the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, prior to joining the Lakers.

While Anthony is serving in a reserve role for Los Angeles, the 37-year-old forward has proved in recent years that he can still be a solid contributor. And with the Lakers, he'll be looking to win an NBA title before wrapping up his impressive career.

Not every Lakers player was pleased with the NBA's 75th anniversary team, as there was one who seemed to feel he was snubbed. That was center Dwight Howard, who is playing his 18th NBA season.

Howard commented on a Bleacher Report Instagram post "disrespectful" on Thursday, making it clear that he thought he should have been on the team. And Howard had a solid case for inclusion, as he is an eight-time All-Star, an eight-time All-NBA selection and one of the top centers of his era.

Now, Howard may have extra motivation to fuel his return season with the Lakers. He had two previous one-year stints with Los Angeles (the 2012-13 and 2019-20 seasons), and he's back for the 2021-22 campaign, potentially to serve in a bench role.

Even though Anthony was named to the anniversary team and Howard wasn't, both are likely going to be key members of the Lakers' roster throughout this season. And if they can end up winning a championship, that will likely be more important to them both.  

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