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Friday, December 19, 2008

Philadelphia 76ers' All Time Starting Five

As our 76ers struggle presently, I decided to take a look back at the glory days and make a list of the best players in 76ers' history. Only seasons with 76ers were considered, so if a player was average for the 76ers and then exploded for another team, he did not make the list.

Center - Wilt Chamberlain - The "Chairman of the Boards" has to be considered one of the most dominating players in NBA history. The Hall of Fame center holds numerous NBA records; including scoring 100 points in a single game and being the career leader in rebounds. Chamberlain's dominance led to rule changes such as widening the lane and changes in inbounding rules. His only weakness was free throw shooting, where he currently holds the second worst career free throw percentage of all time. He was a 13 time All Star and a four time MVP.

Forward - Charles Barkley - "The Round Mound of Rebound" is one of the best power forwards the Association has ever seen. He was an 11 time All Star selection and won the MVP award once. In Barkley's final season with the Sixers', he averaged 23.1 points per game on 55% shooting and 11.1 rebounds per game. He career points average is 22.1 and he stands as one of the most efficient scorers in NBA history, with an unheard of 54.13% career shooting percentage. Standing at 6'6", Barkley was the shortest player in history to lead the NBA in rebounds in a season when he averaged 14.6 rebounds per game in 1986-1987.

Forward - Hal Greer - Greer started out for the Syracuse Nationals before they moved to Philadelphia to become the 76ers. He was selected to 10 consecutive All Star games from 1961-1970. He won a championship alongside Wilt Chamberlain in 1966-1967. He average 19.7 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game. He retired with over 20,000 points and 5,000 rebounds. In a game against the rival Boston Celtics, Greer scored 50 points.

Guard - Julius Erving- Dr. J is without a doubt one of the greatest players in NBA history. Despite having a poor supporting cast until Moses Malone came to town, Erving still led the 76ers to multiple NBA Finals. He was named the NBA Most Valuable Player in 1981, and led the team to the NBA Championship in the 1982-1983 season alongside Malone. He averaged 22.0 points per game for his career.

Guard - Maurice Cheeks - The former 76ers' head coach before he was recently fired, Cheeks was also a great point guard for the Sixers in the 11 seasons he played in Philadelphia. He ranks third all time in steals and eight all time in assists. He averaged 11.7 points per game in his career and two steals a game. He was a four time NBA All Star and four time NBA All Defensive team selection. He was the point guard one the 1983 NBA Championship team.

Honorable Mentions: Billy Cunningham and Moses Malone

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