Yes, they could’ve but they didn’t because they were either busy, blind-sided, or just too lazy.
Art is a matter of doing, not looking back and regretting what could’ve been. It’s always easier to hindsight and declare that you could’ve created the exact same work. So why didn’t you beat the world to the punch?
Skill and productivity are more predictable than time and fame. All you know is what you’re working on right now. You can’t always predict what’s going to be popular.
For the most, jobs and qualifications are fungible. It’s just a matter of who gets there first.