When No One Was Looking, The NBA Quietly Removed Kyrie Irving From Its 75th Anniversary Team

I don’t know how the NBA plans to explain away this one, because there’s no other logical conclusion to draw here. They didn’t make an NBA 75 highlight reel for Detroit Pistons legend Darko Miličić. They didn’t cobble one together for journeyman Raef LaFrentz. They were tasked with making 76 videos, there simply wasn’t enough time to be making dedicated full pages and highlight packages for guys who almost made the cut. Klay Thompson would cut off a limb for a 75th Anniversary highlight package right now.

I saw that tweet and looked it up for myself, those are the screenshots above. You click on Kevin Durant's and it brings you to a full page with a video included. You click on Kyrie's and it goes, "Haha, why don't you buy some tickets and shut the fuck up? Nothing to see here!"

This is a horrible look for a couple reasons. Mainly, there is at least one actual despicable person who made this list that the NBA seemingly does not care about in the slightest. If you’re going to play the respectability politics just because one guy is doing something people are annoyed by in the here and now, you better make damn sure that the rest of the list clandestine as fuck. It isn't. The criteria wasn’t the top 76 plays who believe the Earth is round.

Which brings me to my, personal, bigger problem: Kyrie, and Dame, and probably Anthony Davis, shouldn’t have been on this list to begin with. This problem could have been completely avoided from the jump if the voters just put Dwight Howard at #75 and called it a day. They had no problem keeping Dwight, the best defensive center of a generation, off the list just because he’s an all time weirdo. He has allegations against him as well, and those aren’t all that different than someone else who was firmly on the list, which means they must be taken with a grain of salt. If we’re going to keep it to on court accolades and accomplishments, Dwight was the clear and obvious 75th choice. I’m not even as mad about AD getting the nod as others, that felt like there was a little forward projection brought into his equation a la Shaq in ‘96 when he was selected to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary squad. But if we’re basing it off accomplishments on the court, there’s no excuse for missing on Dwight. There’s little argument for Dame other than, “He’s the most similar to Kyrie so let’s just slide him in there and keep it moving.”

Either Kyrie earned the right to be included on the team based on his accomplishments, or everyone on that list better be clean as whistle. Anything else is hypocritical at best.