Publish Date: 08/02/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
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I didn’t want to choose between these two, Jones was a great sixth man and one of the best defensive forwards in NBA history. Cheeks, on the other hand, was one of the greatest defensive guards in NBA history. Cheeks made the All-Defense team five straight times from 1983 to ’87, largely off the strength of his pick-pocketing. Cheeks would finish in the top 10 in steals each of his first ten years in the league and still ranks fifth with 2,310.
Bobby Jones was named to seven straight All-Defensive teams from 1979 to 1985, including six straight on the first team. Cheeks and Jones both do not get the credit they deserve, I also would like to mention Andrew Toney, or as I like to call him the Celtics killer. If not for injuries, Andrew Toney would have made this list.
Schayes was one of the first superstars of the NBA and the Sixer’s first-star player. Eleven straight All-Star appearances and averages of 18.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game speak for themselves.
Walker was an intense player and a winner. His competitiveness had a lot to do with the fact that all 11 seasons of his NBA career ended in the playoffs, 7 of those as a 76er.
Barkley didn’t really play a position, he played Basketball. He was one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history and he was actually short in stature for his position. Barkley arrived as the Sixers were starting to get old and with Barkley’s help the Sixers remained a constant playoff team until his departure.
He might seem higher than what you would expect but remember he was not just a coach that helped the Sixers win the 1983 Championship, he was also a highly accomplished player. 21.2 points and 10.4 rebounds across 11 seasons in the NBA and ABA, on top of winning a title in 1967 and appearing in four All-Star games for the Sixers.
As a coach he’s highly underrated, Cunningham arrived in 1976 in Philly and they became a contender right away. Cunningham was the quickest to get to 200 and 300 wins in the history of the NBA and had a final record as a Head Coach of 454-196, good for a winning percentage of .698, second only to Phil Jackson.
Much like Chamberlin, Malones time in Philly was relatively short, but in that short time, he accomplished all that could have been asked of any player. In four seasons with the Sixers, Malone averaged 23.9 points and 13.4 rebounds per game to go along with four straight All-Star appearances and a seat at the head of the NBA table. He led the Sixers to a 4 game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1983, in a season where the Sixers only lost one playoff game.
He played second fiddle to Wilt, but there can be no shame in that, and what a second fiddle Greer was.
During the 1967 title season, he scored 22.1 points to Chamberlain’s 24.1. This flipped in the 1967 playoffs, with Greer pouring in 27.7 points, six more than Chamberlain’s 21.7. Greer spent his entire career with the Sixers, appearing in 10 straight All-Star games from 1961 to ’70
Iverson was one of the greatest guards in NBA history, and though small in stature, everything was big about Iverson. He hit his apex in 2001 when he averaged 31.1 points and 2.5 steals per game en route to winning the NBA’s MVP award. If the 76ers front office would have gotten him more help, he could have brought some titles to Philly. In Iverson’s great 2001 season he capped it off by getting a Sixers team that was not talented enough to get there all the way to the Finals. In-game one, Iverson dominated the game and led the Sixers to a surprising game 1 win. The Lakers would win the next 4, but if you want to see how great Iverson was, go back and watch that game 1.
Chamberlin’s career as a 76er only spanned three seasons as the time before that was with the Philadelphia Warriors. But those three seasons were spectacular!
Chamberlain won MVP awards in all three of his full seasons with the Sixers, equaling the total MVPs by everyone else in franchise history. That’s a staggering individual achievement.
And the numbers? 27.3 points, 24.2 rebounds, and 7.2 assists sounds like something out of a video game. To say Chamberlin was dominant would be a huge understatement. The only reason he is not number one is because of a Doctor whose longevity and star power make him too good not to be number one.
The Doctor sustained greatness. In 11 seasons with the Sixers, Erving made—wait for it, —11 All-Star teams. What’s even more remarkable is the consistency of his output from beginning to end.
Erving was awarded the 1981 MVP with averages of 24.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game, the apex of his high-wire act that preceded the vicious dunkers of the modern game.
The 76ers franchise was changed when Erving arrived from the Nets and immediately made an impact helping to lead the Sixers to the 1977 Finals. Trips to the Finals followed in 1980, 1982, and Finally an NBA title in 1983.