Every era has a few great players that get lost in the shuffle. Alex English is one of those players. A Hall of Famer, 8-time all-star, English averaged 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in his career. He was one of the best scorers around, and we rarely talk about him.
A guaranteed bucket
When I say a prolific scorer, I'm selling English short. He scored the most points in the Association during the 80s - 22,395. His career total is higher than guys like Reggie Miller, Jerry West, and Allen Iverson. To be fair, English benefited from playing on fast-paced teams that were all about offense, but that's not why he was left off the list. Here's his theory on why he was left off the list.
English continued to congratulate everyone who made on the list, a true gentleman as always. But he does make an inciteful point. Basketball is an entertainment product; it's more than just stats. We remember guys who are featured on highlight reels, and you'll rarely find Alex English on one of those. You need to win a lot or catch the eye for your name to make on lists that try to capture decades.
The problem with lists
Look, the NBA achieved its goal with this list - everyone's talking about them. You can be mad about Dwight not making it, but that Dame is on there. Yes, Lillard has a few last-second shots that will be remembered as some of the coldest daggers in NBA history, and that obviously counts.
Don't get it twisted, lists like these are a marketing tool. I'm not saying they are pointless, but you should read them within their context. For me, Manu Ginobili makes every list I make. Does that make him the GOAT? Hell no. It just lets you know the kind of player I enjoy watching and the kind of basketball I appreciate.
The list tells you more about the person making it than an objective truth about basketball. Rather than getting upset about a specific player, take a step back and look at the fantastic body of work the NBA community has. We'll continue to cover NBA history in our Old School department and try to keep the memory of all the great players like Alex English who slip through the cracks alive, whether he's on a list or not.
I don't know about you, but I love this game!