The NBA 75th Anniversary list of the 75 Greatest Players of All-Time includes several Portland Trail Blazers, among them the three greatest in franchise history: Clyde Drexler, Damian Lillard, and Bill Walton. No All-Time list is without controversy, though. In the wake of the list reveal, Walton finds himself being compared to NBA great Dwight Howard, with some pundits wondering why the vintage center deserved the nod over Superman.
As is typical in these situations, Kendrick Perkins’ voice is ringing loudly across the landscape.
On First Take today, he claimed that Howard “gets disrespected so much, it’s ridiculous”. He cites Howard’s credentials as three-time defensive player on the year and a league leader in rebounds and blocks. He goes on to call Walton’s inclusion over Howard “the most disturbing thing I’ve seen over the last six months.”
You can see the whole clip below.
Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers took a moment to clap back on Walton’s behalf, saying:
Won two rings, MVP, Finals MVP and Sixth Man (a role most players on the list would never had agreed to). It wouldn’t be a list WITHOUT @BillWalton. Also, Bill’s hyperbole paved the way broadcast careers for guys like Perkins.
Their comparative career stats:
468 Games averaging 13.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.2 blocks on 52.1% shooting from the field. Career High Seasons: 18.9 points (1977-78), 14.4 rebounds (1976-77)
1183 Games* averaging 16.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.9 blocks on 58.6% shooting from the field. Career High Seasons: 22.9 points (2010-11), 14.5 rebounds (2011-12)
Howard also has one NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020.
If that weren’t enough, the Bill Simmons Podcast weighed in on the list, saying that Damian Lillard’s buzzer-beating heroics gave him an edge that kept Howard out. You can find that around the 13-minute mark.
Which one do you think belongs?