By R.L. Bynum
In no surprise to anybody, Michael Jordan and James Worthy are on the NBA’s list of the best 75 players in league history as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.
The list is being announced in three installments of 25. After no Tar Heels were on Tuesday’s list, Jordan and Worthy, teammates on the 1982 national championship team, were added to the list Wednesday. When the final 25 are announced at 6 p.m. Thursday on TNT, Billy Cunningham figures to have a good chance of being added.
With so many great younger players in the last 25 years, it’s possible that some players who made the list of the 50 greatest players in NBA history that came out in 1996 might be left off this time.
When the NBA came out with the top 50 list, former UNC players to make the list were Cunningham (Philadelphia 76ers), Jordan (Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards) and Worthy (Los Angeles Lakers). Jordan was one of 11 active players on the list when it came out during the 1996–97 season.
The 25 announced Tuesday were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nate Archibald, Charles Barkley, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Kevin Durant, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Hal Greer, James Harden, Elvin Hayes, Jerry Lucas, Moses Malone, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Hakeem Olajuwon, Bob Pettit, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell and John Stockton.
The 25 announced Wednesday were Paul Arizin, Rick Barry, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Drexler, Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek, Allen Iverson, Jordan, Magic Johnson, Sam Jones, Karl Malone, Robert Parish, Scotty Pippin, Chris Paul, Bill Sharman, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Worthy and Jerry West.