NBA 35th Anniversary Team

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The NBA 35th Anniversary Team was announced on 30 October 1980 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the NBA. Unlike its predecessor, the NBA 25th Anniversary Team, that followed the concept of All-NBA Team, this team was more like an NBA All-Star Team that contains the eleven best players in the NBA's 35 years existence regardless of their position, and also had a coach. In addition, this team did not require a player to have completed his career to be eligible for this Team.

NBA 35th Anniversary Team members

Bill Russell, voted the greatest player of the NBA’s first 35 years

Sorted by last name, players in italics were still active in 1980.

Position Name
C Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
F Elgin Baylor
C Wilt Chamberlain
G Bob Cousy
F Julius Erving
G/F John Havlicek
C George Mikan
F Bob Pettit
G Oscar Robertson
C Bill Russell
G Jerry West

All members of this team, including Red Auerbach, have been inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Cousy, Mikan, Pettit, and Russell had been previously selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971. All players on this team were including among the NBA 50 Greatest Players of All-Time in 1996.

Only made of 11 players, this team excludes 25th Anniversary Team players Paul Arizin, Bob Davies, Joe Fulks, Sam Jones, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman; future 50 Greatest Players that had already established themselves Nate Archibald, Rick Barry, Dave Bing, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Hal Greer, Elvin Hayes, Jerry Lucas, Pete Maravich, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Lenny Wilkens; and many others Hall of Famers. Arguably, this team is the most exclusive of the NBA Anniversaries Teams.


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