This 2021-22 NBA season marks the 75th anniversary of the start of the Association. This entire season will be used to commemorate the occasion, with the league even doing a list of the 75 best players in the history of the NBA to celebrate. The NBA did this previously for the 50th anniversary, with that team totaling 50 players, of course. The results of the list will be announced over the first three nights of regular season action, with the first 25 members of the (unranked) team being revealed tonight. There will be plenty of former (and current) Lakers included in this list of 75 players, with the first 25 players announced on Tuesday night including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Mikan, and Steve Nash.
First 25 members from the NBA's official Top 75 list: pic.twitter.com/HUnerRqjkE
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 19, 2021
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played 14 seasons for the Lakers from 1975 all the way until 1989. Before Kareem played for the Lakers, he played six seasons for the Milwaukee Bucks who selected him with the first overall pick in the 1969 draft. He averaged 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game over those 20 seasons, accumulating 19 All-Star appearances, six MVPs, 15 All-NBA selections, two Finals MVPs, 11 All-Defensive selections, six championships, and more. Even more impressive than his game was his work off the court, as Kareem was one of the most notable civil rights activists of his time.
George Mikan did not play for the Los Angeles Lakers, but instead played for the Minneapolis Lakers before they made their move (go ahead and now realize why they’re named the Lakers if you didn’t already). He played for the Lakers from 1949 until 1956, even playing for them when they were a part of the BAA (Basketball Association of America). He won five championships and was a three-time scoring champion.
Steve Nash only played one season for the Lakers, and it was an infamous one. That season was, of course, the “Now this is going to be fun” 2012-13 season where the Lakers fell drastically short of expectations with a first-round exit. That team also included Dwight Howard’s lone season with the team before signing in 2019, as well as one of the last peak years of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace’s careers. He did most of his damage to the rest of the NBA in his time on the Phoenix Suns.
There will surely be many more former Lakers announced in the next couple of days, with some current Lakers also set to enter the list.