Thursday, August 11 2022

Now that the NBA has unveiled its complete 75th Anniversary Team list of the greatest players in league history, it’s time to debate over who was left off — even if we got a bonus player because of a tie in voting. 

Yahoo Sports’ Ben Rohrbach put together a formula, The Bill Russell Scale, based on data driven from Russell’s career. Here are the details on the 100-point Russell Scale.

19.1: Russell’s average PER and playoff PER. The max score for any candidate.

16.4: Russell’s regular-season win shares divided by 10. The max score for any candidate.

14.5: Russell’s career scoring total divided by 1,000. The max score for any candidate.

12: Russell’s number of All-Star appearances. The max score for any candidate.

11: Russell’s number of All-NBA appearances. The max score for any candidate.

11: Russell’s number of top-5 MVP finishes. The max score for any candidate.

11: Russell’s combined championships and Finals MVP awards. The max score for any candidate.

5: Russell’s number of regular-season MVP awards. The max score for any candidate.

Based on that scale, there are 11 players who could be considered a snub from the official list (ranking listed first and total Russell Scale points in parenthesis). 

Dwight Howard is held back referee Mousa Dagher as he has words with Brooklyn Nets players on the bench out of frame.Dwight Howard is held back referee Mousa Dagher as he has words with Brooklyn Nets players on the bench out of frame.
Is Dwight Howard the biggest snub from the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team list? (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Biggest snubs, per The Russell Scale

34. Dwight Howard (68.4)
53. Pau Gasol (60)
55. Tracy McGrady (59.3)
56. Tony Parker (58.8)
58. Chris Bosh (58.2)
63. LaMarcus Aldridge (56.8)
69. Chauncey Billups (55.4)
T71. Vince Carter, Bob Lanier (55.3)
74. Adrian Dantley (55)
75. Paul George (54.9)

Willis Reed (ranked No. 58 and tied with Bosh), Dave Cowens (No. 63, tied with Aldridge), Jerry Lucas (No. 69, tied with Billups) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (No. 74, tied with George) all made the NBA’s official list. 

In the case of Aldridge, Rohrbach had this assessment in the initial Russell Scale:

What’s up with LaMarcus Aldridge? He has quietly stacked seven All-Star and five All-NBA appearances over 19,951 career points (48th all-time), 112.57 Win Shares (55th all-time), a 20.73 regular-season PER (62nd all-time) and a 19.65 playoff PER (60th all-time). I would be shocked to see him make the panel’s official list of 75 Greatest Players in NBA history, but I cannot be mad at him for making this list.

Biggest surprises, per The Russell Scale

135. Dennis Rodman
134. Bill Walton
120. Dave DeBusschere
118. Earl Monroe
113. Nate Thurmond
109. Pete Maravich
104. Wes Unseld
100. Lenny Wilkens
97. Dave Bing
89. Nate “Tiny” Archibald
79. James Worthy

There were also a number of surprising inclusions in the official list based off the Russell Scale. However, many were holdovers from the league’s 50th Anniversary Team. Although the members of that list were not guaranteed a spot on the 75th Anniversary Team, all 50 were again voted onto the list. 

Only Rodman was a new addition to this year’s list.

Other snubs from 75th Greatest Players list

After the 76 players were revealed, the “Inside The NBA” team offered up six additional players who were left off the list. 

Walt Bellamy
Grant Hill
Bernard King
Artis Gilmore
Penny Hardaway
Dikembe Mutombo

While no list is ever perfect, the league’s 75th Anniversary Team got a few things right: it didn’t bounce anyone from the previous top-50 list, it righted the biggest wrongs from the top-50 by including Dominique Wilkins and Bob McAdoo and its biggest snub was Dwight Howard, a polarizing player in modern NBA history. Did we really need five current Los Angeles Lakers players on the list anyway? 

Source: Yahoo Sports

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