Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, these are just a few of the names expected when the NBA unveils its 75th anniversary team, the 75 greatest players in league history.
The festivities begin on the opening night on Tuesday, October 19, when the first 25 players, who represent a cross-section of eras and positions, will be announced.
The TNT crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith will get things started with a 90-minute special edition of TNT’s “NBA Tip-Off” before reigning NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets give a tip followed by the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers.
25 more names will be announced on ESPN’s NBA Today on Wednesday, October 20, before the Boston Celtics battle the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets battle the Phoenix Suns in the season opener.
The final 25 will be announced at TNT’s NBA Tip-Off on Thursday, October 21, before the Dallas Mavericks battle the Atlanta Hawks, followed by the LA Clippers versus the Warriors.
A “blue ribbon” panel made up of the media and current and former players, coaches, general managers and team managers selected the players.
“The 2021-22 season is going to be really special as we celebrate 75 years of NBA basketball,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We look forward to honoring the players and teams – past and present – who have inspired generations of fans around the world.”
The anniversary team, along with a 75th logo and diamond embellished jersey details, with new Classic Edition and City Edition jerseys for each team are just some of the ways the league is looking to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Hall of Famers Clyde Drexler, Magic Johnson, Bob Pettit, Oscar Robertson and 14-time NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki will serve as ambassadors throughout the season and attend the NBA All-Star 2022 weekend in Cleveland.
The NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary in the 1996-97 season when Kobe Bryant played his first year in the league and Michael Jordan won his fourth title.