June 24, 2016 |
IT WAS a time, much like now, when most of the major sports teams in Philadelphia were struggling. The Phillies were in the midst of seven consecutive losing seasons. The Eagles were scraping the bottom of the barrel in the NFL. The 76ers had just set a record for NBA futility, going 9-73. The Flyers and their Broad Street Bullies were the toast of the town, on the verge of winning a couple of Stanley Cups. A skinny kid out of Illinois State was taken as the first overall selection in 1973 to be the savior for the Sixers, and Doug Collins had no idea what to expect from the City of Brotherly Love.
June 21, 2016 |
THERE REALLY wasn't much question in 1996, the last time the Sixers had the No. 1 overall pick. Then-general manager Brad Greenberg may have peaked at tapes of Stephon Marbury, but Allen Iverson was going to be his selection. Kobe Bryant went 13th, but it was impossible to foresee what he'd go on to become. Plus, Bryant still was only 17 years old. Iverson might be the best draft pick in team history. It's either him or Charles Barkley. Most of the rest of the Sixers' choices throughout the years look like the Schuylkill at rush hour.
March 6, 2015 |
AT LEAST Sam Hinkie offered warning. When he assumed command in 2013, the Sixers' czar told everyone he didn't like anything about the team. Then the rest of the city's teams fell in with his scorched-earth campaign, leaving the populace reeling as never before. To its credit, the population is generally accepting. It began with Chip Kelly's release of receiver DeSean Jackson a year ago, a jarring move that, viewed through the correct prism, made sense. So have the rest of the decisions.
September 24, 2014 |
Caldwell Jones, a rail-thin frontcourt player who helped the 76ers reach the NBA Finals three times, died Sunday of a heart attack in Decatur, Ga. Mr. Jones, 64, was one of four brothers to reach the NBA after playing at Albany State College. He began his career with the San Diego Conquistadors of the ABA in 1973 before joining the 76ers in 1976. Mr. Jones, who retired from the NBA in 1990, played six seasons with the Sixers before he was traded to the Houston Rockets. He also played for Chicago, Portland and San Antonio in a 14-year NBA career.
March 7, 2014 |
CAUGHT SOME of the Sixers game the other night. Not too much of course, because extended views can make winter seem longer, deepen depression, even leave your eyes overly sensitive to light. But I watched the Thunder's 125-92 victory, the Sixers' 15th loss in a row, as long as I could, just to familiarize myself with players I might someday win a prize or free drink for identifying. Maybe as soon as this summer. That's when we're supposed to uncover our eyes again, I guess.
January 17, 2014 |
LAST YEAR at about this time, Doug Collins had had it up to his kind eyes with conjecture about the health of his rehabbing big man. Andrew Bynum would tell us that he might play next week, or next month, and then he would come to practice, and then he wouldn't. Doug was asked daily, weekly, monthly, and Doug would answer daily, weekly, monthly, until finally one day Doug told reporters: "You should talk to him. I don't want to be the messenger because they shoot messengers. " Brett Brown seems to be at that point when discussing Nerlens Noel.
November 10, 2013 |
The boos were predictable, and they were as loud and long as you'd expect, and they began with 3 minutes, 54 seconds left in the first quarter - the instant Andrew Bynum lifted all 7 feet and 285 pounds of himself off his chair along the Cleveland Cavaliers' sideline and made for the scorer's table. The boos were cathartic, because Andrew Bynum was supposed to have been some kind of savior last season for the Sixers. Andrew Bynum, acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in a thunderclap trade involving four teams.
November 8, 2013 |
AT 6-8 AND now a chiseled 235 pounds, Thaddeus Young can bang down low and challenge around the basket with opposing centers. Other times he is tussling with players closer to his size at his now familiar power-forward spot. He is actually the size of yet another position, a small forward. Throughout his 7-year career he has been asked to step out and shoot jump shots, beat slower defenders off the dribble, score in the paint. He always has been at his best when he is running the floor and getting to the rim, difficult to stop as a lefthander with exceptional athletic ability.
November 7, 2013 |
Jeffrey Millman, 67, of Pennsauken, longtime equipment manager for the Philadelphia 76ers who began with the team as a ball boy when he was 10, died of lung cancer Tuesday, Nov. 5, at a friend's home in Mantua. Ten years before he became the equipment manager in 1972, the 15-year-old Mr. Millman was with the old Philadelphia Warriors when Wilt Chamberlain had his 100-point game in Hershey on March 2, 1962, nephew Jerrold Colton said in a phone interview. "He was very tight with Wilt," Colton said.
November 1, 2013 |
IMAGINE YOU are on a park bench and this guy sits next to you and begins to talk. He tells you he was there that night in Hershey when Wilt scored 100, tells you he even had the 100-point ball in his possession before he wrapped it in a bunch of towels and stuffed it in The Dipper's gym bag. You nod and smile a patronizing smile. And then he starts to tell you about that time on the White House lawn, when he was again in charge of the ball, this one signed by every member of the 1983 NBA champion Philadelphia 76ers, how he was just doing his job when President Reagan came out, took the ball from him, clowned around and shook his hand.