These days, it seems like the only 76ers highlights available are when the other team does good things. That’s what happens when you’re in the second consecutive year of a tanking strategy that totally won’t alienate fans.
The only thing left to do? Remember the good old days.
Sunday, for example, was the 30th anniversary of the legendary fight between Dr. J and Larry Bird. Here’s the video:
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All that tanking — the trades of Jrue Holiday on draft day 2013 and in-season trades of the rest of the team, the loss by 45 to a team with t-shirts, the snoozing fans, the record-tying 26-game losing streak — came to a head last night. The Sixers have learned where all this tanking has put them: They’ll select in spots No. 3 and No. 10 in this year’s NBA Draft. The Sixers will pick behind Milwaukee (No. 2, a team that somehow finished with a worse record than the 76ers this year) and Cleveland (No. 1, a team that had only a 1.7% chance to nab the top pick).
While it wasn’t No. 1, Sixers fans should be cautiously happy with the outcome. They now have two top-10 picks in a deep NBA Draft along with Michael Carter-Williams, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Nerlens Noel, the top pick they traded Holiday for last year and who sat out this year with an injury. The Sixers also picked up the Pelicans’ pick in that trade, which is the No. 10 spot this year.
The Sixers’ pick — which had the second-highest chance of being the No. 1 overall — couldn’t fall below 5. Only the order of the top three teams are selected in the NBA Draft lottery, with the rest of it being ordered by season record. That’s a little confusing, especially when the NBA announced the Sixers’ pick as 10th. One of the confused parties: NBA legend and Sixers draft representative Julius Erving, who thought the Sixers had fallen all the way to 10th for a minute. Let’s look at his reaction in animated GIF format.
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Philadelphia’s a great basketball town.
You’ll hear this a lot, and it makes sense. The city has a rich basketball tradition. After being invented in Springfield, basketball spread to other east-coast cities, and eventually the Philadelphia SPHAs were one of the top teams. The Sixers may be down now, but they’ve had some of the biggest superstars in NBA history: Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley. More recently, the Sixers had Allen Iverson, the most exciting, interesting player of the post-Michael Jordan NBA.
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Sixers legend Julius “Dr. J” Erving will be giving a free talk tonight as a part of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Author Event series.
The Doctor, who mesmerized Sixer fans from 1976 to 1987, will discuss his life on and off of the court, as well as to promote his recently released book Dr. J: The Autobiography (in which we learn some things we wish we could unlearn). Of course, the good doctor is no stranger to shilling products. In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, let’s look back at the top five Dr. J commercials.
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We kind of wish we didn’t know this about how Dr. J’s daughter, Alexandra Stevenson, was conceived with mother Samantha Stevenson back in the 1970s. “I can only remember one time that we actually had intercourse, and that was because she had just gotten this new orthodontia to straighten her teeth,” he writes in his new book. “With wire and gleaming metal bristling in her mouth, oral sex was not an option.” Awwww. That’s information that was probably best withheld.