NBA 75 greatest players: who are the first 50 basketballers named - from Giannis Antetokounmpo to Kevin Durant

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NBA league, the Association will be releasing the 75 greatest players in its history

The NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary. The diamond-themed logo will be on all courts in the 2021/22 season

The National Basketball Association is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary season.

The 2021/22 NBA season got underway on Tuesday 19 October 2021 and will conclude in June 2022.

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The Milwaukee Bucks started their season as the current NBA Champions with a strong start against the Brooklyn Nets, taking a comfortable 127-104 win.

The Golden State Warriors also had a positive start to their 2021/22 campaign beating the Los Angeles Lakers 121-114.

What is NBA 75?

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NBA, the season will be known as NBA 75 and its historic legacy will be honoured throughout the 2021/22 season.

A 75th anniversary diamond logo will be present in promotions across all NBA properties during the six month season, including on merchandise, digital and social media, and it will also be painted on the courts.

The NBA uniforms will feature the Nike and Jordan Brand logos in a diamond embellishment, while the normal NBA logo on the back features diamond embellishments with the ‘NBA’ mark replaced by the number 75.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the first list of 25 NBA 75 greatest players released yesterday. He plays for the Milwaukee Bucks

NBA’s 75 greatest players of all time

As part of the NBA’s celebrations for its 75th anniversary, the Association will be releasing their 75th best plays in the history of the league.

In 1996, the NBA released their 50 best players in the history of the league in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Association.

The first 25 players were announced on Tuesday 19 October 2021 with the next instalment of players named on Wednesday 20 October and the final players will be listed on Thursday 21 October.

Here are the first 25 names:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Nate Archibald
  • Charles Barkely
  • Bob Cousy
  • Dave Cowens
  • Kevin Durant
  • Julius Erving
  • George Gervin
  • Hal Greer
  • James Harden
  • Elvin Hayes
  • Jerry Lucas
  • Moses Malone
  • Kevin McHale
  • George Mikan
  • Steve Nash
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • Bob Pettit
  • Willis Reed
  • Oscar Robertson
  • David Robinson
  • Bill Russell
  • John Stockton
  • Magic Johnson
  • James Worthy
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Jerry West
  • Larry Bird
  • Michael Jordan
  • Scottie Pippen
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Clyde Drexler
  • Karl Marlone
  • Patrick Ewing
  • Chris Paul
  • Allen Iverson
  • Tim Duncan
  • Kevin Garnett
  • John Havlicek
  • Sam Jones
  • Robert Parish
  • Bill Sharman
  • Bill Walton
  • Walt Frazier
  • Paul Arizin
  • Rick Barry
  • Nate Thurmond
  • Wes Unseld
Kevin Durant, right, has been listed as one of the 75 greatest NBA players of all time

Who is new to the NBA greatest player list?

This will be the first time appearing on a list commemorating the greatest players in NBA history for Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki.

The other former basketball players made it to the greatest 50 players the NBA recognised back in 1996.

Antetokounmpo is a 6ft11in basketball player from Greece. He was drafted for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013 and has played with them ever since. He is a five time NBA All-star and has twice been a NBA Most Valuable Player winning the award in 2019 and 2020.

Kevin Durant is a 33-year-old basketball player from Washington DC who was drafted in 2007 by the Seattle SuperSonics. He moved in 2016 to the Golden State Warriors for three years before signing with the Brooklyn Nets. He has won the NBA Championship twice with the Golden State Warriors, was the NBA’s most valuable player in 2014 and is an eleven time NBA All-star.

Fellow Nets teammate James Harden was born in Los Angeles and was drafted by Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009. In 2012 he moved to the Houston Rockets and is now with the Nets. in 2018 he was the NBA’s most valuable player and a nine-time NBA all-star.

Former basketball player Steve Nash was drafted in 1996 by the Phoenix Suns and has played with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 2015. He is now a coach with the Brooklyn Nets. Nash is a two-time NBA most valuable player, winning the award in 2005 and 2006. He is also an eight time NBA all-star.

Dirk Nowitzki was a German basketball player who has made it on the list of 75 greatest NBA players

Former German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1998 and has since played for DJK Wurzburg and the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki retired in 2019 at the age of 41. He won the 2011 NBA Championship with the Mavericks and in 2007 was the NBA’s most valuable player. He is a 14-time NBA all-star and six-time Euroscar player of the year. In 2005 the German center also won Mister Europa of the year.

Kevin Garnett, from Greenville South Carolina, was drafted in 1995 by the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2007 he moved to the Boston Celtics and in 2013 he moved again to the Brooklyn Nets. The final season of his career, 2015/16 saw him return to the Timberwolves. He is a 15 time NBA All-star and was the NBA’s most valuable player in 2004.

Born in Saint Croix, the US Virgin Islands, Tim Duncan was drafted into the NBA in 1997 by the San Antonio Spurs and stayed with them until 2016. In 2019 he returned to the Spurs on their coaching team. He has won the NBA Most valuable player award twice, in 2003 and 2004, and is a 15 time NBA All-star.

Allen Iverson was drafted in 1996 by the Philadelphia 76ers and stayed with them until 2006. He then moved to the Denver Nuggets, the Detoit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies back to the Philadelphia 76ers and finally to the Besiktas JK for his final season in 2010/11. He was the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2001 and an 11-time NBA All-star.

Chris Paul playing for his current team the Phoenix Suns

Chris Paul was drafted by the NBA in 2005 by the New Orleans Hornets and was with them for six years before moving to the Los Angeles Clippers. In 2017 Paul moved to the Houston Rockets for two seasons and then went on to Oklahoma City Thunder. He currently plays for the Phoenix Suns. He is an eleven time NBA All-star and was the NBA All-star game Most Valuable Player in 2013.

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