In nine days, the 2021-22 NBA season kicks off with the OKC Thunder, which will begin its campaign in Utah the following evening. As fans flock to the arenas again, there’s more to celebrate this year as the association celebrates its 75th anniversary.
With this in mind, the league is hosting a commercial tribute to some of the best players in history, and there will be numerous publications to celebrate the occasion.
In retrospect, the league honored the top 50 players during its 50th anniversary, and there will undoubtedly be more of those honors this year. That’s why USA Today has voted for the 75 best players in NBA history.
With 30 teams in the league and 75 years of accomplishment to consider, getting on the list is a huge accomplishment. Many franchises have a long history with various name changes as well as changing city locations. Only two current teams started with the name they bear today and remain in the same cities – the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks.
5 OKC Thunder players rank USA Today among the 75 best players in NBA history
The OKC Thunder are the youngest of all the franchises that have been in existence for 13 years when they enter their 14th year. Given those specifics, the fact that five former USA Today players were recognized is a huge achievement and something Thunder fans can be proud of.
In compiling the list, USA Today had a panel of 15 authors make their individual decisions, and then a master list was created from those decisions. Notably, four of the five players below created each list with the one player who missed some lists Carmelo Anthony.
Local representation was courtesy of Berry Tramel of Oklahoman and yes, Russell Westbrook on his list (the couple had a long-running feud that Thunder Lifer are all too familiar with. Though its placement by Kevin Durant 21st on his list is slightly suspicious.
To check each of the 15 panelists, list of 75 click here together with an accompanying video.