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NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team Snubs Dwight Howard and Klay Thompson Among Others

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The NBA has unveiled its 75th Anniversary team and it has some notable omissions.

Highlighting the best 75 players in NBA history, Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Klay Thompson and Adrian Dantley were some of the notable names missing from the list. Perhaps the name that drew the most outrage among fans was Howard. The 35-year-old Lakers center did not make the cut, but his teammate, Anthony Davis, 28, did.

While you can argue that both belong on the list, Howard’s absence reeks of recency bias. Howard is almost a decade removed from his heyday, but he was damn good from 2006-2014. In that timeframe, Howard averaged 19.5 PPG, 13.3 RPG and 2.3 BPG. He was an All-Star and All-NBA for eight consecutive seasons, becoming a three-time Defensive Player of the Year in the process. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment was becoming the last big man to lead his team to the NBA Finals. Howard did just that in 2008-2009, when he took the Magic to the dance, where they were eventually ousted by the Lakers in five games.

Davis, meanwhile, entered the league when Howard’s prime was ending. Davis has made eight consecutive All-Star teams like Howard but hasn’t picked up an individual award like Howard did three times. He was also never able to carry the Pelicans to prominence, prompting a trade to the Lakers where he combined forces with LeBron James to win a championship in 2020. Both are qualified to be on the list, but the decision to leave off Howard remains puzzling.

Beyond Howard, Thompson’s absence has stirred up fans on social media and himself. Thompson took to Instagram to voice his displeasure with not being included, saying that he’s confident in his abilities.

“Maybe I’m just naive in my ability to play basketball, but in my head, I’m Top 75 all time,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson has made a strong case to be on the list, as the other half of the “Splash Brothers” alongside Stephen Curry is a top-five shooter in NBA history. He has never shot below 40% from behind the arc and is a three-time NBA champion with the Warriors. Thompson is also a five-time All-Star and has made two All-NBA teams. While his shooting is his claim to fame, Thompson has proved he’s no one trick pony. Thompson has been one of the best defensive guards in the league, making the 2018-2019 All-Defensive team.

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard made the list in favor of Thompson, which is curious. Lillard has been one of the best scorers in the league since 2012 but has found no team success in Portland. While it’s a team sport, majority of the players on the list won championships, something Lillard hasn’t sniffed. If it were just about scoring ability, then perhaps Dantley and Nuggets legend Alex English would have found their way onto the list.

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. Nick is a life-long sports fan who is proud to say he suffered through 15 years of Bucs futility to witness a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Nick has a passion for writing and is proud to represent OutKick. Follow me on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

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  1. Thompson is an add-on player. He’s never going to be the top dog on a team. He doesn’t rank with even Scottie Pippen. Dwight Howard, well, he’s NEVER been the go to guy on any of the teams he’s played. Everywhere he’s gone, he’s eventually worn his welcome out and was sent away in the name of team chemistry.

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