As the NBA unveiled the list of the 75 greatest players in its history to celebrate its 75th anniversary, it was only a matter of time before it got to the greatest shooter the game has ever seen.
To the surprise of no one on Thursday, Warriors star Stephen Curry is now officially among the NBA’s all-time elite after the league included the two-time MVP and three-time NBA champion among the final 25 members on its prestigious 75th anniversary team.
Like so many, Curry’s inclusion was a foregone conclusion.
Klay Thompson, Curry’s fellow Splash Brother, also figured he’d be on the team. Thompson took to social media to express his shock over being snubbed.
“Maybe I’m just naive in my ability to play basketball, but in my head I’m Top 75 all time,” Thompson said on Instagram.
While saving some of their best for last, the NBA waited until its third and final reveal to further validate the greatness of stars such as Curry, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
After releasing the names of 25 members on Tuesday and 25 more on Wednesday, Curry was conspicuous by his absence until Thursday’s announcement. The NBA provided no particular reason for the order of players named to its team, which was chosen by a panel of media, coaches, general managers, team executives and both current and former players.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who had a vote in determining the team along with Curry, was surprised Thompson wasn’t included on what was almost a thankless exercise for voters.
“Just looking at the list and then thinking about the history of the NBA, how do you differentiate?” Kerr said before Thursday’s game. “It seems like there’s 50 or 60 guys who were kind of automatic. Then just pick one, and you can’t go wrong — or you can’t be right, depending on how you look at it.
“I definitely think both guys are top 75, just based on winning and two-way basketball and everything that really matters, that matter more than statistics, anything related to numbers,” Kerr added. “What matters is if you’re winning championships, then that’s what counts. I would’ve hoped and thought that both guys would be on there.”
Curry is joined on the all-time team by seven other men who once played for the Warriors, including Kevin Durant and Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond. Thompson isn’t the only all-time Warriors great to get left off the 75th anniversary team — five-time All-Star and two-time Olympic gold Chris Mullin was also overlooked.
There is a litany of reasons why the 33-year-old Curry made his way onto the NBA’s star-studded greatest team, beginning with winning the only unanimous MVP award in league history as well as changing the way the game’s now played because of his unmatched shooting ability. He’s also erased history along the way as Curry has achieved no fewer than 85 separate NBA records and distinctions during his 13-year career.
Curry will add at least one more record in the coming months, when he eclipses Ray Allen’s all-time NBA record for 3-pointers in a career. Curry came into Thursday night’s home opener just 140 3-pointers from surpassing Allen’s league-best 2,973, despite playing in 763 games, less than 60 percent of Allen’s 1,300 career games.
With all due respect to Joe Montana, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Jerry Rice, Curry will likely go down as the greatest athlete in the illustrious history of Bay Area sports – if he’s not on top already. h2 data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-section"">
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The all-time team was expanded by 25 members since the NBA last paid tribute to its all-time best in 1997 for its 50th anniversary.
“It’s a cool milestone. I was an NBA fan when the Top 50 list came out. I know a lot has happened in the last 25 years,” Curry said in the preseason when asked about the list. “Obviously (LeBron) will be on there. Hopefully I’ll be on there. There are a lot of guys that are still doing amazing things in the league right now that’ll probably be on that list, then you think about the legends that have retired in the last 10 years or so, 15 years. It’s stacked.”
As for what it means to him, Curry said the honor speaks for itself.
Changed the game for good. Now recognized as one of the 75 greatest to ever play.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 21, 2021
“I feel like you just look at the list and see who you’re beside, and that puts it into perspective enough,” he said. “Think about how many guys have suited up, put an NBA jersey on and done amazing things in their careers throughout the years.”
Durant, who teamed with Curry to win a pair of titles with the Warriors, was overjoyed after being named to the team on Tuesday.
“It means everything, honestly,” Durant said during a TNT interview. “You want to leave your mark on the game itself (and) to be among the greatest this game has ever seen, just to be in that company is pretty sweet.”
As one of the NBA’s original franchises, the Warriors also boast some of the league’s original greats. The eight Warriors on the NBA’s 75th anniversary team are Curry, Durant (2016-19), Barry (1965-67; 1972-78), Chamberlain (1959-65), Thurmond (1963-74), Paul Arizin (1950-62), Jerry Lucas (1969-71) and Robert Parish (1976-80). Curry is the only guard in Golden State Warriors history on the list.
Also on the NBA’s list are some Bay Area legends such as Steve Nash (Santa Clara), Bill Russell (McClymonds High; University of San Francisco), Gary Payton (Skyline High), Jason Kidd (St. Joseph/Notre Dame High; Cal) and Damian Lillard (Oakland High), plus former Warriors executive Jerry West and ex-coaches Dave Cowens and Bill Sharman.
Some other notable stars who weren’t included on the team include ex-Warrior Bernard King, Walt Bellamy, Vince Carter, Adrian Dantley, Artis Gilmore, Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill.
NBA’S 75TH ANNIVERSARY TEAM
(In alphabetical order, here are the players named the best 75 players in NBA history over the past three days)
DAY 1: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nate Archibald, Charles Barkley, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Kevin Durant, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Hal Greer, James Harden, Elvin Hayes, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bob Pettit, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, John Stockton.
DAY 2: Paul Arizin, Rick Barry, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Drexler, Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek, Allen Iverson, Magic Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Robert Parish, Chris Paul, Scottie Pippen, Bill Sharman, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, James Worthy.
DAY 3: Ray Allen, Carmelo Anthony, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Kobe Bryant, Billy Cunningham, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Dave DeBusschere, LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Pete Maravich, Bob McAdoo, Reggie Miller, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, Paul Pierce, Dennis Rodman, Dolph Schayes, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Lenny Wilkens, Dominique Wilkins.
Source : https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/10/21/warriors-steph-curry-named-to-nbas-75th-anniversary-team/1553