Greatest All-Time Starting 5: Philadelphia 76ers
Here at Off the Glass we’re taking on the arduous task of going through every NBA teams’ greatest possible starting five, using players that have played for that franchise. A player at each position (Point Guard through Center) will be selected, along with a 6th man who can be any position.
This is how it works:
Players selected must have played at least two full seasons for the franchise
The selection will be based on a combination of statistics, accomplishments/accolades and their significance to the franchise in question
Players had to have predominantly played at that particular position for at least one season to be eligible
Let’s get started.
Point Guard-- Maurice Cheeks: Drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia 76ers, Mo Cheeks turned out to be a great pickup for them. He was crucial in the 76ers 1983 championship team as he was the guard that led the way to three trips to the NBA Finals in four years. Cheeks played with or coached majority of the players on this list and he was a great point guard as well. Cheeks averaged 11 points and over six and a half assists per game in his 11 year stint with Philadelphia. Without Cheeks, the 76ers probably don't win in 83. He wasn't the greatest coach, but as a player, Cheeks was definitely the 76ers greatest point guard. Cheeks is number one all time is steals (tied) and assists per game for Philadelphia.
Shooting Guard-- Allen Iverson: If you have been reading my articles, did you expect anything else from me? Arguably the most popular athlete in Sixers history, Iverson was definitely the greatest shooting guard. Bringing the Sixers to their only Finals appearance since Mo Cheeks left, Iverson was a dynamic scorer. Wasn't always efficient, but over the course of his career with Philadelphia, Iverson scored 19,931 points for the Sixers. That is second all-time, but he was tied for first in PPG with 27.6. Iverson is tied with Cheeks for number one is steals per game. Iverson won the MVP award, went to nine all star games (was the MVP of two) and was a four time scoring champion with Philadelphia. It's hard to find a shooting guard that was better than him in Philly. In a shocking stat, Iverson actually is first all time in three point field goals made. Learn something new everyday.
Small Forward-- Julius Erving: Dr. J was one of the best players in Sixers history and was the go to guy in their 1983 championship run. Erving was known for play in the ABA, but his run with the Sixers will never be forgotten. Erving was just as good on defense as he was on offense. His 1,293 blocks is most all-time for Philly and second all time in defensive rebounds. Erving, along with the next two players on this list, is one of three players to win the MVP award and an NBA championship. Erving averaged 22 points and 1.8 steals per game for the Sixers. He will always be remembered for being one of the greatest Sixers of all-time and for that sweet baseline move against the Lakers in the Finals.
Power Forward-- Moses Malone: Probably the hardest choice on this list, due to Charles Barkley being a force, but the greatest power forward is Moses Malone. Like Julius Erving, Malone won the MVP award and an NBA championship, but he won it in the same year. Malone only played five seasons in Philadelphia (four of which were during his prime). During this time, Malone won two MVP's, an NBA championship, was a four time All Star and a three time NBA rebounding leader. Pretty impressive for just four years. Moses Malone averaged 21 points per game and was third in rebounding per game all time with 12.
Center-- Wilt Chamberlain: Wilt, like Moses Malone, also played a short amount of time with Philly, but his impact would never be forgotten. Chamberlain only played three years with Philadelphia, but look at these stats. Year one, 33.5 points, 24.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Year two, 24.1 points, 24.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists per game. Year three, 24.3 points, 23.8 rebounds, 8.6 assists per game. These numbers just speak for themselves as no one else in history has come close to this. Chamberlain is first all-time in points per game (with AI), Player efficiency, field goal percentage, and minutes per game. It's easy to see why he's the best center in Sixers history.
6th Man-- Charles Barkley: Charles Barkley is one of the greatest forwards of all-time, so he had to be included in this list. A rebounding machine, Barkley averaged at least 10 rebounds in seven of the eight years he was in Philadelphia. Barkley is first all time in Offensive and defensive rebounds for Philly. He was efficient on offensive as well as he was second all time in field goal percentage and number one in 2 point field goal percentage. Barkley was one of the most efficient players for Philly and he definitely deserves to be on this list.
Honorable Mention-- Hal Greer: Usually on a list like this there is no honorable mention, but Greer must be included on the list. Greer is the Sixers all-time leading scorer and doesn't get the recognition he deserves. Greer is a champion, 10 time all-star, hall of famer, and one of the few players to play his entire career with the Sixers. Greer is first in games played, minutes, field goals made and is second in assists. Greer made an impact in Philly and he will be remembered for it.The Sixers have had a great history as six of these seven players are in the Hall of Fame.
Did I miss any of your favorite Suns? Let me know if you agree or disagree – @marquelaries