Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Nets Greats Among Selections for NBA 75th Anniversary Team
Nets coach Steve Nash and former stars Jason Kidd and Julius Erving among honorees
To celebrate the NBA’s 75th season in 2021-22, the league is recognizing a 75th anniversary team of the top 75 players in NBA history. From current members of the organization to past greats, the Nets are strongly represented on the list.
“It means a lot," said Kevin Durant. "It means everything to be honest. You want to leave your mark in this league on the game of basketball itself. To be amongst the greatest that this game has ever seen, just to be in that same company is pretty sweet. As a kid, I seen the 50th anniversary and always dreamt of having one of those jackets on and being amongst that group and being in that brotherhood, so it feels good to be a part of it now.”
James Harden joined Durant on the list, with both players among the first group of 25 players that the league announced on Tuesday night.
"Wow. Where I come from, man, even just to be in the NBA was like a far-fetched dream," said Harden. "To be an NBA basketball player was unheard of. And then not just making it but sustaining it was a different type of mountain you’ve got to climb. And then to be one of the best basketball players is a whole different mountain. It’s just a testament to the work I’ve put in and continue to put in until I can’t play anymore. Obviously, I haven’t reached the ultimate goal, which is a championship, but that’s what keeps me working and going hard every single day. That’s the end goal. When I get to that point, work doesn’t stop. I’ll continue to work and continue to strive until I’m not able to play this game anymore. This game has given me so much, just the people I’ve interacted with and I’ve touched and the families I’ve helped. It’s a beautiful thing. So I’m just blessed to be a part of that list, and it don’t stop."
In addition to the players whose career highlights are summarized below, former Nets Rick Barry, Nate Archibald, Bob McAdoo, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce were selected for the team.>
KEVIN DURANT • 2007-PRESENT
CAREER: 27.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.2 APG
Kevin Durant has carved out his own slice of NBA history — there’s simply never been another player like him. With guard skills and a 6-10 frame, Durant is one of the most feared and effective scorers the NBA has ever seen. He’s never averaged fewer than 20 points per game and his 27.0 career scoring average is fifth all-time and No. 1 among active players. The No. 2 overall pick in 2007, Durant was an All-NBA First Team selection by year three, when he led the league in scoring for the first time with 30.1 points per game. That was the first of four scoring titles, including a career-high 32.0 points per game in his 2013-14 NBA MVP season. Through 13 seasons, Durant has earned 11 All-Star Game selections, nine All-NBA honors, two NBA Finals MVP awards, and was the 2007-08 Rookie of the Year.
JAMES HARDEN • 2009-PRESENT
CAREER: 25.1 PPG, 6.5 APG, 5.5 RPG
James Harden has established himself as one of the unique offensive talents in NBA history. He is one of just seven players to have led the league in both scoring and assists and with career averages of 25.1 points and 6.5 assists, one of just five to have averaged both those rates for his career. A nine-time All-Star and seven-time All-NBA selection, Harden was the 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year and the 2017-18 MVP. His career scoring average is 11th in NBA history and third among active players. Harden has three scoring titles to go along with one season leading the league in assists. His league-leading 36.1 points per game in 2018-19 is the seventh highest single season scoring average in NBA history — only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan ever averaged more. He is fifth in NBA history with 2,445 3-pointers made and eighth with 58 career triple-doubles.
STEVE NASH • 1996-2014
CAREER: 14.3 PPG, 8.5 APG, 42.8 3PT%
With a mid-career leap, Steve Nash heralded a change in the way the NBA game was played. Already a two-time All-Star during his six seasons in Dallas, Nash returned to the team that drafted him, the Phoenix Suns, for the 2004-05 season. Taking charge of Phoenix’s relentless, wide-open “Seven Seconds or Less” offensive attack, Nash went on to win consecutive MVP awards and lead the league in assists for three consecutive seasons and five of the next seven. Nash earned eight All-Star Game selections and seven All-NBA honors. One of the great shooters in NBA history, Nash posted career 49.0/42.8/90.4 shooting splits and in 2006-07 led the NBA with a .613 effective field goal percentage, an incredibly rare accomplishment for a guard. A 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, he is third in NBA history with 10,335 assists.
JASON KIDD • 1994-2013
CAREER: 12.6 PPG, 8.7 APG, 6.3 RPG
Jason Kidd transformed the Nets franchise upon his arrival prior to the 2001-02 season. With a relentless drive to win, genius-level creativity, and peerless management of the offense, Kidd led the Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. They went on to win four division titles in five seasons and make six straight playoff appearances. A 10-time All-Star, Kidd earned three of his six All-NBA honors while with the Nets. He was also named to nine All-Defensive Teams and was the 1994-95 Rookie of the Year. Kidd remains the franchise leader in assists, steals, 3-pointers, and triple-doubles. He is fourth in NBA history with 107 triple-doubles and second all-time with 12,091 assists. Kidd was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
JULIUS ERVING • 1971-1987
CAREER: 24.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 50.6 FG%
A transformational player in the history of professional basketball, Julius Erving carried the Nets to the top of the ABA as the league’s signature player, then brought his greatness to the NBA for a decade after the 1976 merger between the leagues. While with the Nets, Erving won three consecutive ABA MVPs while leading the team to two championships, and he was an All-Star and All-ABA selection each of his five seasons in the league. Erving was an All-Star in each of his 11 NBA seasons and was twice named the game’s MVP, in 1977 and 1983. He was named to seven All-NBA teams and was the league’s MVP in 1980-81. Erving’s 30,026 points in the ABA and NBA combined are eighth in professional basketball history and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
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