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The NBA's 50 Greatest Players gather during the 1997 All-Star Game.
Brian Bahr/Allsport/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA at 50 celebrates legends of league


Posted Aug 26 2011 1:56PM

NBA at 50:
50 Greatest Players
Top 10 Teams
Top 10 Coaches

One hundred and seven NBA championship rings. More than 400 hundred NBA All-Star Game selections. Nearly one million points scored.

So boasts the collective resume of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, selected by a blue-ribbon panel of media, former players and coaches, current and former general managers and team executives. NBA Commissioner David Stern announced the 50 Greatest Players at a press luncheon on Oct. 29, 1996, in New York City.

Joining Stern in the unveiling of the 50 Greatest Players, which tipped off the League's season-long NBA at 50 celebration, were four prominent members of the list -- Wilt Chamberlain, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, George Mikan and Bill Russell.

The announcement was made at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which occupies the site of the former Commodore Hotel, where the original NBA charter was signed on June 6, 1946.

Panelists were asked to select the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, without regard to position. Voters did not rank their selections and former players were not allowed to vote for themselves.

At the start of the 1996-97 season the 50 players had accumulated 107 NBA Championships, 49 Most Valuable Player Awards, 17 Rookie of the Year honors, 447 All-Star Game selections, 36 scoring titles, 923,791 total points and 410,327 total rebounds.

The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Nate Archibald
Paul Arizin Charles Barkley
Rick Barry Elgin Baylor
Dave Bing Larry Bird
Wilt Chamberlain Bob Cousy
Dave Cowens Billy Cunningham
Dave DeBusschere Clyde Drexler
Julius Erving Patrick Ewing
Walt Frazier George Gervin
Hal Greer John Havlicek
Elvin Hayes Magic Johnson
Sam Jones Michael Jordan
Jerry Lucas Karl Malone
Moses Malone Pete Maravich
Kevin McHale George Mikan
Earl Monroe Hakeem Olajuwon
Shaquille O'Neal Robert Parish
Bob Pettit Scottie Pippen
Willis Reed Oscar Robertson
David Robinson Bill Russell
Dolph Schayes Bill Sharman
John Stockton Isiah Thomas
Nate Thurmond Wes Unseld
Bill Walton Jerry West
Lenny Wilkens James Worthy

Voters for the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (player), Marv Albert (media), Al Attles (team), Red Auerbach (team), Elgin Baylor (team), Dave Bing (player), Larry Bird (team), Marty Blake (team), Fran Blinebury (media), Bill Bradley (player), Hubie Brown (team), Wilt Chamberlain (player), Mitch Chortkoff (media), Bob Cousy (player), Billy Cunningham (team), Chuck Daly (team), David DuPree (media), Wayne Embry (team), Julius Erving (player), Joe Gilmartin (media), Sam Goldaper (media), Alex Hannum (team), Lester Harrison (team), John Havlicek (player), Chick Hearn (media), Red Holzman (team), Phil Jasner (media), Earvin Johnson (player), John Kerr (player), Leonard Koppet (media), Bob Lanier (player), Frank Layden (team), Leonard Lewin (media), Jack McCallum (media), Dick McGuire (team), George Mikan (player), Bob Pettit (player), Harvey Pollack (team), Jack Ramsay (team), Willis Reed (team), Oscar Robertson (player), Bill Russell (player), Bob Ryan (media), Dolph Schayes (player), Bill Sharman (player), Gene Shue (team), Isiah Thomas (team), Wes Unseld (team), Peter Vecsey (media), Jerry West (team)

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