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The 76ers Mount Rushmore (So Far)

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Ah, the dog days of Summer are here and all the big name free agents have been signed. This could only mean one thing, it’s Mount Rushmore SZN baby!! That’s right we’re gonna be breaking down the Top 4 players during the Sixers Franchise history up until present day (July 2018). I’ve studied legends from Hal Greer and Dolph Schayes, to Allen Iverson and today’s current players. Hell, even the not so great Sixers players such as Manute Bol and the “Stormin’ Mormon” Shawn Bradley. The Sixers have had their shares of ups and downs during the last 50 years which have led too many losing seasons but also have captured 3 Championships during the process ( see what I did there?). Without any more blah-blah let’s get this Mount Rushmore constructed.

Charles Barkley

Man, right off the bat this was a tough one, I narrowed it down between Sir Charles and Moses Malone for the fourth spot on this list. Although Malone did capture 2 more MVP’s and won a championship ( sorry Chuck 🙁 ). I had to give it to Charles solely on the fact that he played with lesser talent during his tenure with the Sixers and put up better numbers throughout his career. The Round Mound of Rebound currently holds the franchise records for most Offensive and Defensive rebounds, and also has the best 2-point field goal %. Despite being traded to the Phoenix Suns in 1992, Barkley was the NBA’s lead rebounder in 1987 and would also represent the Sixers 5 times in NBA All-Star games.

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(photo courtesy of si.com)

Barkley went on to win his first and only MVP with the Suns the year after he was traded. Us Sixers fans hung our heads in disappointment as we saw our former #5 overall pick do battle against the GOAT Michael Jordan during the 1993 NBA Finals which saw MJ capture his 3rd ring ( sorry Chuck 🙁 ) in just his 9th year. Charles would then spend his waning years trying to capture that championship that had been eluding him for so long by joining the Houston Rockets in 1996. Despite Barkley never winning a title his impact in Philly wasn’t gone unnoticed. In March of 2001 Barkley’s number 34 jersey was hung in the rafters alongside a few other notable players who may or may not be on this list.

 

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson embodied the spirit of the City of Brotherly Love when he was first drafted number 1 overall by the Sixers in the 1996 NBA Draft. Iverson would spend his first 10 years with Sixers where he had many famous moments such as the MJ Cross up during his rookie year, and stepping over current Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue during the 2001 NBA finals. Iverson was just as brash off the court as he was on court. The Answers insane wardrobe and almost hip-hop star like clout led to former NBA Commissioner David Stern to implement a dress code in the NBA, that we still see to this day, and only added to the legend of A.I.

Although Iverson may not have been a fan of practice, he was a fan of scoring. Iverson was a 4 time NBA scoring champion (’99,’01,’02,’05) with the Sixers and averaged nearly 27 points a game during his entire career. AI was also no push over when it came to defense. For 3 years in a row (2001-2003) the 6 foot guard from Georgetown would lead the league in steals and was an absolute nightmare to match up with offensively. Iverson would go on to play for several teams after he was traded by the team in 2006 and eventually returned home in 2009. What Iverson lacked in size, he made up for in heart. Many small guards in today’s game are always compared to Iverson (i.e. Steph Curry ) as he paved the way for the vertically challenged to play in the NBA.

Wilt Chamberlain

Possibly the greatest center to ever play the game, Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain. Although Wilt is more famously known for his time in L.A. and battles with another all-time great in Bill Russell, there’s no denying the impact he had on the Philadelphia 76ers. Wilt is a legend on the courts in Philly, whether its professionally, or him dominating in high school at Overbrook. Chamberlain was an absolute beast during his time with the Sixers, capturing 3 straight MVP’s in a row. He also was literally unguardable on defense as he was a 7 time NBA scoring champion and put up a staggering 100 points setting the record for the most points ever scored in a game.

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Not only does Wilt hold an NBA record that likely will never be broken, he also holds many franchise records with the Sixers. The man holds the franchise record for most minutes played per game(46.3), field goal %(.583), points per game(27.6), and finally rebounds per game (23.9). Wilt Chamberlain was literally a walking record book, I can’t even begin to tell you all the other NBA records he holds for free throws, free throw attempts etc. The Big Dipper’s number 13 was retired by the organization in 1991 and in my opinion he deserves to be on the Sixers Mount Rushmore regardless of his tenure with the Lakers.

 

Julius Erving

This should come as no surprise. Julius Erving is THE greatest player to ever put on a Sixers jersey. Dr. J was the first Michael Jordan. The man electrified crowds with his amazing dunks and seemingly defied the laws of gravity. Erving first started out in New York playing In the ABA where he scored 27.3 points as a rookie, made the ABA All-Rookie team, led the ABA in offensive rebounds, and was All-ABA Second team. The Doctor would then  become a Sixer during the merger in the 1976-1977 (ironic) season. Erving would then go on to play the rest of his career in Philadelphia.

World F’N Champions. Erving, with a little help from the aforementioned Moses Malone, helped the Sixers win the NBA Championship during the 1982-1983 season. The Sixers nearly swept thru the entire playoffs losing only one game to Milwaukee in the Conference Finals. Not only could Erving score with ease as he soared thru the air, but he could also defend anyone he wanted to. He was a menace on defense with Sixers as he holds the franchise record with over 1200 blocks.  In 1993 Erving was rightfully inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. Erving’s number 32 is retired by the Brooklyn Nets as well as his number 6 by the 76ers.

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About Darrien Null

Hometown: Strasburg, PA. Contributor for Sixers Lead. Twitter: @DNull95

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