A notable former coach seems to think that Anthony Davis was a Mickey Mouse inclusion on the NBA’s 75th anniversary team.
Ex-NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy appeared on “Knuckleheads” with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles. During the episode, Van Gundy made the case that Davis should not have been picked for the NBA 75 team. More specifically, Van Gundy thinks that Dwight Howard should have made the team over Davis.
“To me, the only guys you could even talk about in [Howard’s] league at that time [of Howard’s peak] were LeBron [James] and Kobe [Bryant],” said Van Gundy, per Sports Illustrated. “I think Anthony Davis is great, but at the time they selected [the NBA 75 team in 2021], I mean, it’s not close. You cannot make a case that Anthony Davis had a better career than Dwight Howard. That’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Van Gundy might have a good argument here. Howard, one of the biggest snubs from the NBA 75 team, is a eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA selection and three-time Defensive Player of the Year (on top of winning five rebounding titles and two block titles). At his apex, Howard was by far the most dominant big man in the game, averaging a robust 23-14 line per night in a more paced-down era.
Meanwhile, Davis has looked like the most dominant big of his era at times but is held back by his unreliability due to injury. With regard to accolades, Davis is an eight-time All-Star, a four-time All-NBA selection, three-time blocks leader and four-time All-Defensive Teamer (though without a single DPOY).
Davis won a title with the Lakers in 2020 but did so as the Robin to LeBron James’ Batman (not to mention that Howard was also a starter on that very same team). Additionally, Davis was just 28 years old at the time he was selected for the NBA 75 team, making him the second-youngest honoree (behind NBA MVP and Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo).
Now obviously, Van Gundy may have a bias toward Howard’s game since he was Howard’s head coach on the Orlando Magic from 2007-12. But Howard himself agrees that he should have made the NBA 75 team, once saying that “politics” kept him off it.