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NBA franchises have different standards when it comes to retiring numbers.Not counting Shaq, the Lakers have retired the numbers of 7 players. The Dallas Mavericks, by comparison, retired #15 in honor of Brad Davis.I’d love to see the Timberwolves hang #99 in the Target Center, since Mikan played almost his entire career in Minnesota. Schayes spent most of his career with the Syracuse Nationals, before the team moved to Philadelphia and became the 76ers.While Schayes played only a single year in Philadelphia, he is without question one of the franchise’s best players, and he led the team to its first title in 1955.In the 1990s the Nets even allowed Rick Mahorn to wear Ladner’s supposedly retired #4. The Nets have done a better job of honoring the legacy of Dražen Petrović, who died in a car crash in 1993 and whose #3 is hanging up in Newark.Petrović, alone among the players in this group, likely would have been honored with a retired number one day even if his life hadn’t been cut short.(And I mean no disrespect to Brad Davis.) Nate Thurmond was a great player, but not with Cleveland.
Apparently that’s not enough to impress Donald Sterling.(The Orlando Magic haven’t retired any players’ numbers, but they did retire #6, in honor of the fans, the “sixth man.” More on that later.) Roger Brown and Wendell Ladner are the only non-NBA players to have their numbers retired by current NBA teams.Brown was a key player on the Indiana Pacers’ 3 ABA championship teams.All of these players had nice NBA careers, but I’m not sure that any are deserving of having their number hanging up in the Rose Garden.Who is the greatest NBA player not to have his number retired by an NBA team? (I’m not counting current players or players who have been out of the league for less than five years.) The Lakers honored Mikan and other greats from the team’s days in Minneapolis with a banner, but they haven’t properly retired his number.