Check Up: Sixers All-Time Pickup Squad
Michael Jordan set the internet on fire (if that’s actually possible) yesterday when he revealed his unbeatable pickup team. “His Airness” has been appearing in advertisements for NBA 2k14. In the most recent ad, Jordan named the four players that he would pick for his pick up squad.
Jordan selected Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, James Worthy, and Hakeem Olajuwon to join him in creating the ultimate pickup team. Since the announcement there has been a lot of debate about the validity of that team and of Jordan’s claims. That may be a discussion for another day.
The first thing that stuck out to me was the absence of any Sixers on Jordan’s team. There are certainly some who could get some thought and that may appear on other lists. So who would be the ultimate Sixers pickup team? Here’s the five that would be on the floor if I was making the picks.
PG Hal Greer, 6-2, 175lbs, Nationals/Sixers 1958-1973
Hal Greer does not get the same type of notoriety as many other Sixers greats but his jersey is hanging in the rafters at “the Well” and for good reason. Greer was one of the best players in the NBA during his career. Greer averaged 19.2 points per game for his career to go along with 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
Greer made 10 All-Star appearances and seven All-NBA 2nd Teams. Greer also averaged 22 points per game during the Sixers 1967 championship season. Greer was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Greer played every season of his career for this franchise. However, he often gets forgotten when mentioning the greatest Sixers of all time. Any successful pickup squad needs a solid floor general to run the show. I’ll take Greer any day of the week.
SG Allen “The Answer” Iverson, 6-0(???), 160lbs(???), Sixers 1996-2006, 2009-2010
While Allen Iverson’s listed height and weight may be debatable, his game was not. Iverson was the greatest Sixer to ever play the game and has recently been mentioned as the greatest pound for pound player to ever play.
Iverson’s resume includes an MVP award, a Rookie of the Year award, 11 All-Star appearances, four scoring titles, three 1st team selections, three 2nd team selections and an NBA Finals appearance.
Iverson is also sixth all time in points per game. Iverson is arguably a first ballot Hall of Fame talent and will have his #3 retired later this season by the Sixers.
Iverson has the ultimate ability that every pickup team needs. He always gets back up. If the league kept official stats for the number of injuries in a career, Iverson would be number one without a doubt. Despite all the bumps and bruises, Iverson always managed to get back up and in a game where called fouls are few and far between, you need a player willing to play through the pain.
SF Julius “DR. J” Erving, 6-7, 210lbs, Sixers 1976-1987
It’s only fitting that “The Doctor” earned his iconic nickname playing in pickup games. Erving was the epitome of flashy basketball and pickup games would be boring if it wasn’t for players like him.
Erving was a champion in both the ABA and the NBA. Erving helped to put the ABA on the map and he also helped with the resurrection of the NBA in the early 80’s. Basketball historians would give Erving a ton of credit for helping to make the game what it is today in America. Erving was the 1981 NBA MVP and was named to the Hall of Fame in 1993.
Erving boasted career averages of 24.2 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game and 2.0 steals per game.
The NBA would not be the same if it was not for “Dr. J” and there is no way the ultimate Sixers pickup squad could take the floor without him.
PF Charles “Sir Charles” Barkley, 6-6, 252lbs, Sixers 1984-1992
Chuck’s presence alone would make the Sixers ultimate pickup squad one of the most physically devastating in the game. Barkley may not have been the tallest player on the court, but he was the meanest and he possessed jaw-dropping athleticism for a man of his size.
Barkley would provide the muscle on the Sixers pickup squad. While Iverson would serve as the player who gets up from every hit, Barkley would be the guy getting revenge on Iverson’s behalf.
Barkley averaged 22.1 points per game to go along with 11.7 rebounds. “Sir Charles” was the NBA MVP in 1993 (as a member of the Suns) and was an 11X NBA All-Star. Barkley made the 1st team five times during his career. Barkley was named to the Hall of Fame in 2006.
Barkley and Iverson both fell short of their quest for NBA titles.
C Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain, 7-1, 275lbs, PHI/SF Warriors 1959-1965, Sixers 1965-1968
HE SCORED 100 POINTS IN A GAME! Enough said…
But just in case you aren’t convinced, Chamberlain averaged 30.1 points per game, and a jaw dropping 22.9 rebounds per game for his career. Somehow he also found the time to get 4.4 assists per night.
Chamberlain goes down in NBA history, first all time in rebounds, fifth all time in points, first in minutes per game, second in points per game and first in rebounds per game. Not too bad. Oh and by the way, they were not keeping blocks as a stat when he played.
He was a NBA Champion twice, earned four MVP awards and 13 All-Star appearances. Chamberlain was also the scoring champion seven times and the rebounding champion 11 times to go along with his seven All-NBA 1st team selections.
The Philadelphia native was an amazing athlete who starred in track and field prior to his NBA days. Since there is no clock in pickup games, you need players who can run up and down the court all day. You get that with Chamberlain.
Did I mention HE SCORED 100 POINTS IN A GAME!?
So there you have it. That is the all-time ultimate Sixers pick-up basketball team. However, I’m not perfect so let me know who I left off the squad. I want to know what changes you would make to the squad. But don’t be lazy. If you think you got a Sixer who belongs over one of these five, tell me who and why.
- ‘The Answer’ Finally Ready to Call it a Career (thewoodercooler.com)
Posted on November 15, 2013, in 76ers, Ray Boyd and tagged 76ers, Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Hal Greer, Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, NBA 2k14, sixers, Wilt Chamberlain. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.