Dominique Wilkins makes the NBA 75th Anniversary team

Dominique Wilkens Fleer trading card from the 1986 Atlanta Hawks season. Photo by Daniel Jue on

In honor of the NBA’s 75th anniversary, the league added 25 new names to its previous top 50 players presented during the 1997 All-Star game. 

The previous list featured all-time greats such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan. 

New editions to the list featured plenty of today’s stars such as Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. 

Players of the past who didn’t make the first 50 were also added, such as Gary Payton, Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neal and the Atlanta Hawks’ very own Dominique Wilkins. 

Wilkins played his collegiate ball at the University of Georgia, where he gained the nickname the ‘Human Highlight Reel’ for his electrifying and thunderous dunks. 

He averaged 22 points and eight rebounds during his three years at Georgia and became SEC Player of the Year (80-81), two-time All-SEC and SEC Tournament MVP.  

Wilkins was selected with the third overall pick in the 1982 draft by the Utah Jazz but was traded the same night to the Atlanta Hawks.  

During his time in the NBA, Wilkins was one of the most intimidating and exciting players in the league, due to his flashy style and athletic plays at the rim.  

In 12 seasons as a member of the Hawks, Wilkins averaged 26 points, seven rebounds and shot 47% from the field.  

During those seasons, Wilkins was a nine-time all-star, made the All-NBA team seven times and averaged 30 points in the 85-86 season, which won him the NBA scoring title.  

In an interview with the ‘Robb Report,’  Wilkins was honored to join the illustrious 75th-anniversary team. 

“So many of my colleagues say, hey man, you should’ve been on the 50 Greatest list”, Wilkins said. “But to actually be part of a historic group like this now means more to me than anything.”

Wilkins also praised the greats who played before him and what they meant to his career. 

‘When I was in high school, I met Wilt Chamberlain at the Hall of Fame. I talked to Wilt for years after that, and guys like Kareem”, Wilkins said. 

“I’ve learned from Dr. J., who was my idol. I was his biggest fan growing up. I got a lot of great [teaching] from [many] iconic players, like Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes and people that I had a chance to meet and get to know.”

Arguably Wilkins should have made the first 50 lists, as he was one of the best players during his days and rivaled in the play with the likes of other all-time greats such as Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. 

Today most fans recognize Wilkins as the voice of the Hawks, as he’s been the team’s color commentator for the past decade. 

As well as a color commentator, Wilkins has been the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Hawks since 2004. 

Nonetheless, it’s great to see the NBA legend and Hall-of-Famer get his flowers for the sweat, blood and memories he gave sports fans over his illustrious career.