Sixers Notes: The 76ers honor past champions including Erving and Malone

Doctor J in the house: Former Sixer Julius Erving runs onto the court after being introduced before the team's home opener.
Doctor J in the house: Former Sixer Julius Erving runs onto the court after being introduced before the team's home opener. (RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 07, 2012

It has been 29 years since the 76ers won the franchise's last championship, so on Friday, in a nod to nostalgia, the organization welcomed back members of that 1982-83 team.

Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, and Earl Cureton attended the Sixers' home opener at the Wells Fargo Center.

This resonated with coach Doug Collins, the No. 1 pick in the 1973 draft and an eight-year Sixer.

"It's good - it brings to mind championships," said Collins, who became famous in the city for, among other things, tossing alley-oop passes to Erving. "Bobby Jones and I go back to the 1972 Olympics - so, obviously, we got our hearts broken in Munich. I remember playing alongside Julius, trading for Bobby.

"It goes back to a great time and a team that set a standard of excellence," Collins continued. "And that's what we aspire to at some point in time. So I think that any time you can bring back former guys who set a kind of standard it's great for our guys to see and for our fans to see."

World B. Free, who did not play on the 1982-83 team, was honored with the others.

Relentless schedule

Though they have played one set of back-to-back games already - winning both on the road - the Sixers are about to get a real taste of how this lockout-shortened season can, and will, be brutal.

Friday's game was the first of back-to-back games (they host Toronto on Saturday night), but in reality it is a ruthless schedule in which they play five games in six nights. This includes the first of two back-to-back-to-back stretches when, beginning Monday, they face Indiana and Sacramento, then travel to New York to face the Knicks on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

"Now we are going to get our first test of back-to-back, a day off, three games in three days, so this will be our first test of playing those kinds of games," Collins said.


Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com or @deepsixer3 on Twitter.

 

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