‘My body of work stands up’: USC legend Alex English left off latest NBA greats list

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When the NBA announced its 75th anniversary team Thursday night, South Carolina basketball legend Alex English was not included among the 75 best players in league history.

English was an eight-time NBA all-star and widely considered one of the best professional players of the 1980s.

The Gamecock great took to Twitter on Friday morning to express his disappointment about being left off the team.

“Can’t say I am not disappointed for not being included on the 75th anniversary team after seeing the list. I felt the same after the first list of 50. I have always known that my understated style wasn’t conducive to being associated with such a flamboyant sport,” English said in a tweet.

“Especially when you start making ‘the best of’ lists. I know that my body of work as an @NBA player stands up to the test and would put it to test against many on the list, I am content with that. I congratulate the Players that were selected,” he continued.

In honor of its 75th season, the NBA released an anniversary team compiled by a panel of former players, media members and team executives. The NBA released a Top 50 players list in 1996 in connection with the league’s 50th anniversary. All 50 of those names carried over to the Top 75 list, which technically included 76 players because of a tie in the voting.

English said via Twitter that he received “a piece of solace” from a text message from fellow Basketball Hall of Fame member Rick Barry, who was named to the 75th anniversary team.

“Just getting this text from a fellow #HOFer who ‘knows the game’ gave me a piece of solace. ‘Just wanted to let you know how disappointed I am that you were not in the NBA Top 75,’ ” English tweeted.

The 75 includes long-retired legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as well as active players like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl also expressed his displeasure with English’s snub.

“Man of class and dignity. Best player in Denver Nuggets history. Leading scoring of the 80s. Not a top 75 NBA player?! Alex is in my book!” Karl said in a tweet, which included a photo of English.

A four-year starter for Frank McGuire’s Gamecocks in 1973-76, English ranks second in program history with 1,972 career points, first in field goals made (855) and third in career rebounds (1,064). He started every game of his college career, and the Gamecocks retired his No. 22 following the 1976 season.

Drafted in the second round of the 1976 draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, English bounced from the Bucks to the Pacers before finding a home with the Denver Nuggets, where he established himself as one of the top players of the decade. No NBA player scored more points in the 1980s than English did, and the 6-foot-8 forward earned his way onto eight NBA All-Star teams because of it.

In his 15-year NBA career, English averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and helped lead the Nuggets to nine consecutive playoff appearances. The Nuggets retired English’s No. 2 in 1992, and the Naismith Hall of Fame inducted English in 1997. His 25,613 career points rank 23rd all-time.

NBA player snubs from Top 75 anniversary team

Following the announcement, ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry, Jorge Sedano, Ramona Shelburne, Marc Spears and Brian Windhorst shared their thoughts on which players should’ve been included in an article. None of the experts in the panel mentioned English.

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