To celebrate their 75th anniversary, the NBA just released their top 75 players of all time, and a couple of San Antonio Spurs legends aren't in it. The final 25 was announced on TNT, with players like Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Ray Allen making the cut on the last day.
While former Spurs greats George Gervin, David Robinson, and Tim Duncan had already been included in NBA 75, the other two-thirds of the Big Three were nowhere to be found. Winners of four NBA championships each, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili both weren't announced as part of the team on day three either.
"Team is invalid, then," said Spurs fan Trey Felder on Twitter. "Lots of recency and raw stat bias," said Jason Mery. The comments continued to flow overnight.
Many Spurs fans took exception to that fact that Tim Duncan is frequently discredited for having a lot of help with Tony and Manu, yet still they didn't make the top 75 list.
The Tim Duncan argument is certainly an interesting one. After all, anyone that attempts to discredit his legacy usually points to his help as the number one factor. Their exclusion from the list makes that argument a little less valid.
Were Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili snubbed?
This won't be a popular opinion among Spurs fans, but it's hard to make the argument that they both belong in the top 75 NBA players ever. Many don't realize that international accomplishments don't factor into lists like these.
Obviously, the things Ginobili did for Team Argentina will be a huge reason he's likely to make the Basketball Hall of Fame next year. But let's take a look at some of the guys who missed the cut on this list.
I know Parker and Ginobili won a ton and are part of the most successful trio in league history, but I can't see them being above anyone on this list, and those guys also didn't even make the cut. I mean, Howard averaged 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds through his first 15 seasons and was an 8-time NBA All-Star. Vince Carter? 20.8 points per game through 15 seasons.
For comparison, Tony averaged 16.6 points and 5.9 assists in his first 15 seasons while Manu averaged 13.6 points and 3.9 assists. Of course, they weren't primary options like the guys listed above, but I can't expect the NBA panel to take that into consideration.
When it comes down to it, I can see why Spurs fans might feel disrespected, but I don't really feel that way. Parker and Ginobili should both be locks for the Basketball Hall of Fame when they're eligible, which is an honor that really carries weight.
Manu Ginobili is likely to headline the 2022 Basketball Hall of Fame class while Tony Parker will be eligible in 2023.