INDIANAPOLIS — The NBA began its 75th season by naming its 75th Anniversary Team — and five players with Indiana ties were included.
Reggie Miller, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas and Bob McAdoo made the list, which was released over the first three nights of the season and actually included 76 players due to a tie in voting.
On Thursday night, Miller, who starred for the Indiana Pacers from 1987-2005, was ready to appear on TNT's pregame show when the hosts surprised him with the news.
"We all know this is very subjective," Miller said. "I look at that list because you're going to get into who didn't make the list, and there's going to be great players on this list. And looking at the first 50, everyone absolutely deserves to be on that list.
"I wasn't going to be upset if I wasn't because I would put my resume against anyone, but I'm a little shaken right now.
Miller led the Pacers to their only NBA Finals appearance in 2000 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Robertson grew up in Indianapolis and played for the iconic Crispus Attucks High School team that won state titles in 1955 and 1956.
He became known nationally during a hall-of-fame career with the University of Cincinnati and in the NBA with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. Robertson became the first player to average a triple-double in 1962.
Prior to winning three NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, Bird attended Springs Valley High School in French Lick and took Indiana State to the NCAA championship game in 1979.
He later returned to Indiana to coach the Pacers and work in the team's front office.
Thomas won an NCAA title with the Indiana Hoosiers in 1981 before he began a 13-year NBA career with the Detroit Pistons, which included two championships with the "Bad Boys" teams in 1989 and 1990.
Thomas coached the Pacers from 2000-03.
McAdoo, who last year said his time at Vincennes University "helped me lay the foundation for my hall-of-fame NBA career," played two seasons with the Trailblazers and won a National Junior College title in 1970.
Following his career at Vincinnes, McAdoo played for the University of North Carolina and was the second pick in the 1972 NBA draft by the Buffalo Braves. He played 14 seasons in the NBA and won the league's Most Valuable Player award in 1975.