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Russell, Abdul-Jabbar, Durant highlight first 25 of NBA’s 75 greatest players

When all of the NBA’s 75 greatest players list is out there, arguments will inevitably follow about the snubs. Defenders of the 76th and 77th best players will make the case they should have been on the list. It’s days of talk show fodder.

But it’s hard to argue any of these first 25 players named are not deserving.

The NBA dropped the first third of the names on Tuesday before the NBA season tipped off between the Nets and Bucks. Here are the first 25 players named by the league:

• Hal Greer
• Dirk Nowitzki
• Bob Pettit
• Oscar Robertson
• Bill Russell
• Kevin Durant
• Giannis Antetokounmpo
• Elvin Hayes
• Jerry Lucas
• Willis Reed
• James Harden
• Nate Archibald
• Hakeem Olajuwon
• Dave Cowens
• Bob Cousy
• George Mikan
• Kevin McHale
• John Stockton
• Steve Nash
• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
• Charles Barkley
• Julius Erving
• George Gervin
• Moses Malone
• David Robinson

The next 25 members will be announced Wednesday during ESPN’s NBA Today show, while the final 25 will be named on Thursday during TNT’s NBA Tip-Off.

The players were selected by what the NBA calls a “blue-ribbon panel of media and current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives.” The names of the people on that panel will be released after the complete list is named, however, their individual ballots will not be.

The goal of having a 75-player list representing the different generations of NBA talent is on display here, with early legends such as George Mikan alongside James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo.