Sixers Lead

Bobby Jones Elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

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Saturday it was revealed that four-time NBA All-Star and 1983 NBA Champion Bobby Jones was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Jones is most notably known for his time spent in Philadelphia from 1978 till 1986. Jones joins fellow players Al Attles, Carl Braun, Chuck Cooper, Vlade Divac, Sidney Moncrief, Jack Sikma and Paul Westphal in the class of 2019. There’s no debate that the 12-year vet and All-Time great defender is one of the greatest players in Sixers history and is deserving of his spot in the Hall of Fame.

ABA/NBA Merger

On August 6, 1976, the NBA merged with its longtime rivals, the American Basketball Association (ABA). Despite the ABA having 11 teams the NBA ultimately decided to keep only the Indiana Pacers, New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs, and the Denver Nuggets. Jones was first drafted out of the University of North Carolina into the ABA by the Denver Nuggets in 1974. During his two years in the ABA Jones averaged 14.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Despite Jones being named an ABA All-Star in 1976 his true test of skill would come later that year when the merger finally became official.

Denver Nuggets

Jones spent just two more seasons with the Nuggets following the merger. The Nuggets had a team that was full of talent. The roster included not only Jones but also 5x ABA All-Star Ralph Simpson. No slouch himself, Jones would be honored as an All-Star during his final two seasons with the Nuggets. The Nuggets played exceptionally well during Jones’s last season with the franchise despite the recent merger. Although the Nuggets won 48 games during the 1977-78 season they would lose in the Western Conference Finals. The future Hall of Famer was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on August 16, 1978.

Philadelphia 76ers

 

While Jones didn’t exactly dominate statistically, his impact on the defensive side, dynamic rebounding and movement without the ball helped his teammates tremendously. Jones would also accumulate two more All-Star nods with the Sixers in 1981 and 1982. During those two seasons, Jones averaged 14 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. In 1983, Jones captured his first and only NBA Championship alongside a star-studded cast that included Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Maurice Cheeks.

During his eight seasons with the 76ers, Jones was greatly respected by his peers for his defensive tenacity. He was monikered as ” The Secretary of Defense” by his peers. In fact, he was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight times! Jones ultimately retired from the game after the 1983-84 season. He goes down as one of the best ABA transplants in NBA history. The Sixers retired Jones’s number 24 in 1986. They eventually unveiled a statue of him in 2018 along the “76ers Legends Walk”. Jones joins fellow Hall of Famers Erving, Cheeks, Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, and Billy Cunningham on the “76ers Legends Walk”.

 

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About Darrien Null

Hometown: Strasburg, PA. Contributor for Sixers Lead.

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