With the arrival of the NBA’s and the Boston Celtics‘ 75th anniversary season comes the expansion of the list of the 50 greatest players in NBA history released for the league’s commemorations festivities for hitting its half-century mark of existence.
As one might expect, the new list will have 75 players representing the NBA’s best players over the course of its 75 years of history. But there is no guarantee that having made it in at the 50-year mark means that a player will make it onto this expanded list. In fact, there are a number of Celtics who are in danger of being cut in light of previous snubs and more recent achievements.
Let’s take a look at who might not make the cut of the Boston players who populated the 50th-anniversary list.
Nate Archibald (1977-83)
(AP Photo/Bob Child)
While Tiny — as he was sometimes called — may have had a great career, one title and six All-Star bids was fringey as far as cases go at the time and probably not enough for this go-round.
Dave Bing (1977-78)
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Similarly, while Bing’s scoring title and seven All-Star bids are certainly nothing to sneeze at, he probably doesn’t survive a re-assessment at the three-quarters of a century mark.
Pete Maravich (1980)
Did Pistol Pete — his nom de guerre in the NBA — help revolutionize how people thought of shooting in the league? Yes — but a scoring title and five All-Star bids likely won’t get him on the next list to come out.
Bill Sharman (1950-61)
Sharman has one of the better cases among the fringe members of the 50th anniversary Celtics with four titles and eight All-Star bids, but isn’t a lock to make the 75th-anniversary list — the competition is that intense.
Bill Walton (1985-87)
(AP Photo/Steve Pyle)
“Had Bill Walton been healthier” is one of the greatest such counterfactuals asked in NBA history. And had he, he might have won more than two titles, a Finals and regular-season MVP award each and a mere two All-Star bids — and a secure place on the 75th-anniversary list, too.
This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!