On Sunday, the NBA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first All-Star game, a year that brought the league’s popularity to a peak.
With the All-Stars taking the floor for a pregame show in Las Vegas, fans celebrated by rooting for their favorite players and chanting the name of the franchise they supported.
And as a nod to the popularity of the event, NBA fans could get their hands on a special edition of the official NBA All-Time Greatest Players of All Time series featuring a new jersey with the name etched onto the front.
But there are a few notable names missing from the roster.
On the top of the list is James Harden, who has only been a part of the league since last season, but was considered a possible All-NBA selection because of his elite play.
Harden was named MVP of the 2017 All-DLC after averaging 22.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Rockets.
After missing nearly two full seasons due to injury, Harden returned to the court in 2017-18 and has been the backbone of the Rockets offense for a full season.
He is averaging 23.3 points and 6.7 assists per game this season.
“James Harden is an absolute legend in this league, and he’s had a huge impact on our team and our city, and his impact is unmatched,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said in a statement released by the team.
“He is the face of this team, the most valuable player in the league, the best player in our league.
He has been a leader in our locker room for a long time, and we’re proud to have him as our captain.”
With Harden on the court, the Rockets have averaged 107.9 points per 100 possessions, and they are second in the NBA in points per game (108.9) and third in assists per 100 possession (7.8).
On top of Harden, the other players on the list include Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose.
Durant leads the NBA with 16.4 points per contest, and has averaged 17.0 points in his last two games.
Green, who was recently traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, is averaging 14.4 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, but he has played only 17.6 minutes per game in his career.
Anthony is averaging 17.3 and 5,5 assists per contest in the 2017-2018 season, and is third in the game in assists with 15.4 per game.
Rose, who is averaging 16.0 assists per team game, leads the league in scoring at 27.3 per game while playing in the third-highest scoring offense in the history of the NBA.
In addition to Harden, Durant and Green are on a team that has lost six of their last seven games, including a five-game skid.
The Rockets have gone 3-4 in the series, losing both times to the Spurs.
Ahead of the game, Rockets owner Leslie Alexander praised Harden and Westbrook for being the leaders of this championship team.
“The guys in the locker room have been outstanding,” Alexander said.
“They’re all very capable of being leaders.
We know they’ve all had tremendous success over the years and we know they’re all looking to win this championship, but we know it’s a team effort, and everybody has to be able to step up.”
It’s been a long journey for Harden, but it’s certainly been a good one.
As of Sunday, Harden has averaged 24.3 ppg, 6.4 apg and 5 rpg over the past two seasons, while he is one of just two players in NBA history to average at least 19.4 ppg and 10.3 apg in each of his first two seasons.
Also on the roster are Derrick Rose, James Harden and Ty Lawson, and three former All-stars.
Each of the three players will be making his first All