The NBA put together an exclusive Top 75 players list to recognize all-time great talents ahead of its 75th season. However, it’s generated criticism directed toward the players that didn’t receive the honor. It’s led Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady to bash Anthony Davis receiving a spot over Dwight Howard.
Dwight Howard notably left off NBA’s Top 75 list
Days before the 2021-22 campaign, the NBA dropped its list of top 75 players of all-time to honor its 75th season.
Many expected big names such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, and Wilt Chamberlain earned a spot. However, a few saw themselves notably left off the exclusive list.
A significant bulk of the attention turned toward Howard not receiving a slot. Howard is in the tail end of his career, but he excelled at an elite level throughout his tenure with the Orlando Magic. He earned three straight Defensive Player of the Year awards, received five consecutive All-NBA First Team selections and four straight All-Defensive First Team nods.
He also captured eight All-Star game selections while guiding the Magic to five consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals. Many remain befuddled that the three-time Defensive Player of the Year fell short, especially Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady.
Tracy McGrady bashes Anthony Davis’ presence over Dwight Howard on the NBA’s top 75 list: ‘That’s just a travesty’
Since the NBA dropped its top 75 players list, it’s resulted in an intense outpouring of criticism.
Much of which centers on Dwight Howard’s notable absence despite his strong resume. During an interview with Sports Illustrated, Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady took it further by voicing that Anthony Davis’ career doesn’t currently hold a candle to Howard’s accomplishments.
“That’s just a travesty,” McGrady said. “I’m going to say this, Dwight Howard deserves to be on that list. For eight straight years, that kid was extremely dominant. I just can’t believe some of the guys they have on that list like Anthony Davis. No Disrespect to Anthony Davis, but before he got with LeBron James and won that championship with the Lakers, You’re trying to tell me if Anthony Davis was to retire right now he has a better career than Dwight Howard? No way.”
Davis developed into a star talent with the New Orleans Pelicans but only led the franchise to a pair of playoff appearances in seven seasons while earning six All-Star selections and three All-NBA First Team nods. His success with the Lakers has helped elevate him to greater recognition as one of the game’s best talents. He played a critical factor in guiding Los Angeles to earn the 2020 NBA title.
However, McGrady’s comments center on the longevity of Howard performing at an elite level for an extended stretch.
Anthony Davis’ career remains an open book
Although McGrady is hesitant in placing Davis on the vaunted list, the Lakers star big man’s career is an open book.
The 28-year-old is in his prime with an opportunity to add much more to his resume. After inking a five-year, $190 million deal last December, he’s cemented his centerpiece of the future alongside LeBron James.
However, the Lakers’ struggles to start the 2021-22 campaign have spotlighted Davis’s play, especially with the lack of consistent success with LeBron James sidelined. Beyond that, Los Angeles is hoping he can become the face of the franchise whenever James eventually steps into retirement.
The next several seasons will be pivotal in shaping his legacy and determining his place among the greatest players in league history.
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