The NBA Kicks off Its 75th Anniversary Season With Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Numerous NBA Legends

If you like diamonds, then you’ll love the NBA in 2021-22. The league is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary, aka its 75th year in business.

The National Basketball Association plans to celebrate its momentous achievement all throughout the season. But there was no better way to get the celebration started than a short film featuring an impressive collection of greats both past and present.

The NBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary

According to NBA.com, “NBA 75 is the culmination of transcendent players, extraordinary moments, and remarkable teams. An homage to exceptional talents and unforgettable flashes in time. NBA 75 celebrates 75 years of greatness.”

One of the most noteworthy moments of NBA 75 will be the unveiling of the NBA’s 75 greatest players. The list, set to be announced in October, will be created by a combination of media, current and former players, plus coaches, general managers, and team executives. It’s the first time the league has created such a list since the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History were honored in 1996.

In addition to a diamond-themed logo and a diamond Nike swoosh on the jerseys, the NBA will celebrate its Diamond Anniversary with a few special games. The first will come on November 1 with a matchup between the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors. The league’s first regular-season game, a matchup between the Knicks and Toronto Huskies, came in 1946.

“The 2021-22 season will be truly special as we celebrate 75 years of NBA basketball,” said Commissioner Adam Silver.  “We look forward to honoring the players and teams — both past and present — who have inspired generations of fans around the world.”

Who’s in the NBA 75th anniversary promo?

To get the party started, the league released a short film titled “NBA Lane.” And it made sure there was no shortage of star power.

A combination of 34 current and former players lent their time to appear in the video. With actor Michael B. Jordan narrating, viewers are greeted early on by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. But as the video goes on, retired greats like Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell make an appearance. There are also plenty of modern stars, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Devin Booker, and Zion Williamson.

“NBA Lane” also pays tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, as Booker salutes a Bryant-themed mural late in the video.

One Reddit user said, “This is right up there with ‘NBA Forever’ as the GOAT NBA promo.” Another user praised the Kobe/Booker moment, writing, “Devin Booker in front of the Kobe Memorial is enough to make a grown man cry.”

The NBA’s 75th season will be one to remember

The 75 greatest players list will undoubtedly feature several stars from the amazing promo. But even without the extra fanfare, this season is sure to contain plenty of excitement.

The Milwaukee Bucks enter the 2021-22 season as defending champions. Can Giannis Antetokounmpo and company retain their crown, or will the star-studded Brooklyn Nets exact their revenge? Out west, LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers are favored to win the conference. But they will have to go through several elite teams, including Donovan Mitchell’s Utah Jazz and Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets.

Several records could also break this season. Stephen Curry is expected to dethrone Ray Allen as the league’s all-time leader in three-pointers. James is within striking distance of passing Karl Malone as the second-highest scorer in NBA history. Chris Paul could slide into fourth-place on the all-time steals list, passing Gary Payton. And that’s just scratching the surface.

This NBA season will be unlike any we’ve ever seen. And if it’s anything like “NBA Lane”, you can expect the league to highlight its stars at every turn.

All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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