Dirty Dunk reminder of Sixers past

By MARC SIRIANNI
Staff Writer — msirianni@highhopesblog.com
_______

Charles Barkley marked one era of Sixers hoops. But how does his time period here stack up against other Sixers teams?

This past weekend I found myself tasked with the chore of cleaning out my parent’s attic. Call it being a good son or just doing Mom and Pop a solid. Either way it wasn’t much fun. I spent a good four hours rifling through everything from dusty suitcases to creepy old Halloween costumes (literally three bags full, which is odd considering I spent about 75% of my Halloweens as either a ghost or a bum. We’ll leave that one alone for now.)

So back to the attic, which I bring up, not to flaunt what was obviously a riveting Saturday afternoon but rather to discuss the 1993 Philadelphia 76ers. How’d we get there you ask? Let me explain. In 1993 I had three prized possessions and I will list them in order of awesomeness. 1) My 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck rookie card 2) My maroon and white Nike Air Jordan’s, and 3) My Dirty Dunk clothes hamper.

First, for the record I still have the Griffey rookie card, I figure when baseball cards come back into vogue I’ll be able to sell it, add a $1.25 and buy my future son a Gatorade. (Some business plans just don’t work out.) Secondly, I have no clue what happened to my Jordan’s though I like to think that they are someplace safe and warm. Lastly, and to my utter surprise, my Dirty Dunk hamper was laying on the attic floor nestled between a wall and a box of old photo albums. How does any of this relate to the 1993 Sixers you ask? Valid question and I’ll do my best to explain.

So there I was attempting to re-hang the Dirty Dunk (you know, old time’s sake kind of thing) and I naturally started to think about the Sixers. I thought to myself, there is almost zero hype going into this season. Of course that could have something to do with the Phillies and Eagles. Sure, at first blush this would seem to make sense but then I thought maybe it could be that as a fan base (assuming there is still a fan base) we know that this team not only has no shot at making any noise in the playoffs this year but may not have a shot for the next three years, plus. (Miami Heat, Iguodala/Brand contracts, Miami Heat, etc). That got me to thinking further. Where does this era of Sixers basketball really rank? I decided that this should still be considered the “Post-Brown” era. Aside from those three half-hearted runs in the playoffs following the ’05, ’08, and ’09 seasons not much has really happened since he skipped town. Small digression:

Top three most interesting things that have happened since Larry Brown left the team.

  1. Nothing really comes to mind.
  2. Seriously, I can’t think of anything.
  3. Oh, maybe bringing Allen Iverson back last season. Nope, I’ve got nothing.

Okay, so we are in agreement that the past seven seasons of hoops in Philly have been nondescript at best. If I’m ranking eras, and I like to think that’s the main point here, I’ve decided that this era ranks second only to what we’ll call the “Post-Barkley” era dating from 1992-1997. If I were being honest than I’d have to say those dark years probably blow this current go-round out of the water. But how can you truly be sure?

You could go the numbers route. The “Post-Barkley” era teams averaged 12,919 fans per game. That number is strikingly low, is it not? Conversely, the “Post-Brown” era averaged 16,299. Clear advantage “Post-Barkley.” However, I’d contend that those numbers are a bit skewed in that the Wells Fargo Center is a bigger place, by 2,308 seats to be exact. Almost the exact difference in attendance numbers, give or take a thousand. I say it’s a push.

Next you could go to number of legit NBA players vs. god-awful NBA players but doing that task seemed a bit daunting. So I decided go a different route. I decided to pick my top starting five plus two bench players from 92-97 vs. top starting five plus two of f the bench from ’03-’10. Really seems like the only valid way to make this type of call.

So, to come at a later date, my full break down of the respective teams plus a full-on scouting report with actual game outcome and box score.

Let’s be real, what else is a hoops head to do in the dog days of the NBA offseason anyway?

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