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It’s been 75 years since the NBA tipped off, so the league is going all out in celebrating. Just as it did for its 50th anniversary, the NBA has released a list of its best players, one for each year of its existence. With the list out, the debate about who should have made the cut but didn’t began. One graphic from “Inside the NBA” listed a name familiar to longtime Notre Dame fans:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 21, 2021
Yes, Adrian Dantley had quite the NBA career after leaving Notre Dame as the program’s second-leading scorer and a two-time first-team All-American. It was good enough that he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. In fact, he’s the only Hall of Famer to play in the NBA after going through South Bend.
Here are some of his NBA achievements over a 15-year career:
1977 Rookie of the Year
Two-time scoring champion
Two-time All-NBA Second Team member
10th all-time in free throws (6,832)
18th all-time in scoring average (24.3)
29th all-time in points scored (23,177)
35th all-time in field-goal percentage (.540)
So yeah, Dantley had the accolades to merit consideration. Maybe a championship would have put him over the top? However, it’s more likely that the competition just had too many achievements for him to compare to. He’ll have to settle for being one of the players many feel should have listed among the best of the best.