Expanding NBA’s 50 Greatest Players To 65

July 30th, 2010 by Patrick Laird Leave a reply »

At the 1997 NBA All-Star weekend, the league introduced its 50 greatest players in commemoration of its 50th anniversary. The selection process had actually been completed several months earlier by media personnel, former players and coaches, and former and current general managers and team owners.

As its web site boasts at NBA.com , the list – at the time of its release – consisted of “one hundred and seven NBA championship rings. More than 400 hundred NBA All-Star Game selections. Nearly one million points scored.”

Some of its members reach back to the late 1940s such as George Mikan and Dolph Schayes. Others were more recent retirees such as Larry Bird and Isaiah Thomas. The list also included active players at that time such as Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing. Even Shaquille O’Neal, though only playing in his fifth NBA season, found a place amongst the 50 greatest.

The list rightfully spans both the foundation, innovation and modernization of the game.

No true guidelines exist for its compilation. For one, the names were presented sans-position, which allows only the best on the list. Secon ...

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