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Landing on NBA 75 team would be “vindication” for English

Oct 21, 2021, 6:40 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2021, 12:43 am
LANDOVER, MD - CIRCA 1990: Alex English #2 of the Denver Nuggets looks on from the bench against th...
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

EDITOR’S NOTE: While two former Denver Nuggets — Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson — made the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Alex English was once again left off the list after it was fully revealed on Thursday evening.

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To be counted among the greatest to play in the NBA, according to Denver Nuggets legend Alex English, one must have a specific set of traits.

“You certainly have to have consistency,” English told “Nick & Cecil” on Wednesday. “You’ve got to be a player that had a solid game, a solid career, consistent career. You’ve got to be a contributor.”

During his 11 seasons in Denver, English averaged 25.9 points, 4.4 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game. His 25,613 career points ranks 23rd in NBA/ABA history as of the start of the 2021-’22 season.

English was the first NBA player to score 2,000 points in eight consecutive seasons, and he was the league’s top scorer in the 1980s — an era filled with the likes of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone.

“You’ve got to make your team better with the talent that you bring to the game,” added English, who helped lead the Nuggets to nine consecutive postseason berths and two Midwest Division titles during his tenure in Denver.

“And then you’ve got to be a good teammate. But, you know, that’s not always going to work. There are probably going to be guys on the list who weren’t good teammates, but I feel that’s one of the traits that you have to have.”

But despite clearly checking off all the boxes, when the NBA came out with its 50 Greatest Players list in October 1996 to commemorate the league’s first five decades, English wasn’t on the list.

However, the voters who excluded English 25 years ago have a shot at redemption.

As part of the NBA’s 75th anniversary celebration, the league has put out a list of the best 75 players in its history and for the oft-overlooked English, landing on that list would be a “vindication” for being left out two and half decades previous.

“Being on the list would be a vindication for not being on the Top 50 list,” English said. “I think when I finished my career, I felt like I should have been there but wasn’t. So, it’s just vindication.”

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Landing on NBA 75 team would be “vindication” for English