Last week I wrote that the NBA is stuck in the 1990s. The Dream Team of 1992 is one thing that fixes the NBA into the previous millennium. Another thing is the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, which was created back in 1996, the 50th anniversary of the NBA. This list remains frequently cited in the media but not a single player who currently plays in the NBA is on the list.
This antiquated list is a problem for today’s NBA players, and the NBA needs to do something about it. Should the NBA revise the list every five years? In 2016 the NBA will turn 70 (if you count back to the National Basketball League of 1946). The NBA could revise the original 50 or create a new list of 70.
Who should be added to the list? Oh man, it’s hard to say, but players like Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant are no-brainers. Despite a short career, LeBron is also sure to make the list (especially by 2016). The interesting twist comes if the list is capped at 50. Who gets the boot to make room for the new guys? That will create some real controversy, and that’s exactly why the NBA should hold the list at only 50. Controversy like this is great publicity. There is nothing like pitting the old school against the new school.
Regardless of exactly how the list should be revised, the NBA owes it to the current players to give the list a makeover. Today’s NBA players deserve to be welcomed into the legacy of the game.