Philadelphia 76ers: Ranking the Most Dazzling Duos in Franchise History
Are the Smiths—Will and Jada Pinkett—the most dazzling duo in 76ers’ lore? The Hollywood couple recently became part owners of the Sixers, Will’s hometown team.
Basketball is, however, a team game. In line with that, I’ve compiled a list of the most death-defying and high-flying combinations in Sixers’ history. These select dynamic duos have excelled on offense, defense and rebounding—sometimes all three.
The NBA cancelled its first two—maybe four—weeks of games, but I'm still here to bring you dynamic amusement that flies in the face of a lockout. Lock in on this segment to satisfy your NBA entertainment appetites and find out who made my list.
10. Darryl Dawkins and Caldwell Jones
Big man Caldwell Jones rotated between power forward and center with heavier big man Darryl Dawkins. During the NBA Finals runs of the late 1970s and early '80s, they were a dynamic duo.
If Dawkins was Mr. Chocolate Thunder, then Jones must have been Mr. Chocolate Rain because he was as thin as a drop.
Jones was part of the NBA's Jones brothers and a prolific scorer in high school, college and the ABA who sacrificed his game for the talented 76ers.
The next duo on my roster hung around the rim like brothers and got steals and points by the pound.
9. Allen Iverson and Larry Hughes
This hand-slap by Allen Iverson and Larry Hughes—“The Flight Brothers”—is called a pound in some slang ciphers. Off the court, they hung out like brothers.
St. Louis native Hughes is a friend of rapper Nelly, who supports A.I.’s many charitable sporting events. Everyone knows Iverson can score, but he can also rap.
I don’t know if Hughes can rap, but he could dribble circles around defenders. Both sometimes got bad raps. Teammates from 1998-2000, they were both lottery picks who left college early.
They often combined on steals for easy buckets and alley-oop dunks on dudes' heads.
8. Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse
Jerry Stackhouse also executed incredible dunks. His were sometimes comparable to Michael Jordan’s. Stackhouse scored a lot of easy buckets in a variety of ways for the Sixers.
Before Iverson joined the team, Stack was the electricity in the building. In his first season (1995-96), Jerry led the Sixers with a 19.2 points-per-game average. Fresh out of Dean Smith's North Carolina program, Stackhouse made the All-Rookie Team.
Iverson made it the following season. They teamed up to make one of the most promising young combinations in the NBA. Maybe it was static electricity that caused Stack to be traded.
Detroit got him and Eric Montross for Theo Ratliff and Aaron McKie in 1998.
7. Allen Iverson and Andre Iguodala
Like McKie, Andre Iguodala lingered in the quiet, complimentary shadows of A.I.
Similar to the Hughes-Iverson pairing, Iguodala-Iverson provided plenty of electrifying steals leading to highlight-reel dunks. The latter two also parlayed plenty of turnovers to alley-oops.
Iguodala is the man, now, in Philly. During his tenure with Iverson, however, A.I. was accustomed to being a solo wrecking crew against NBA defenses.
He wasn’t selfish, though, as he had long done what Larry Brown’s teams needed.
Iverson was a more prolific scorer in Philly than Dr. J. or any other player except Hal Greer. For that reason, I thought about making A.I. to A.I. the No. 1 dazzling duo on this light-hearted list.
One-half of the next duo in my lineup was far from light.
6. Charles Barkley and Julius Erving
Like his heavyweight basketball champion teammates, Dr. J. and Moses Malone, Charles "Round Mound of Rebound" Barkley’s jersey is retired.
Unlike the other two, Barkley was a one-man fast break who joined the Sixers in 1984. Before leaving in 1992, he played with Malone and Erving until 1986 and 1987.
Erving’s skills were waning, but Barkley’s were ascending. The star power they provided was enough to be included on this list. The Chuckster ended up with Dr. J. and Malone on the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
5. Andrew Toney and Maurice Cheeks
Toney and Cheeks teamed up to make one of the most lightning-quick backcourts in the NBA during the 1980s. Andrew was a prolific scorer who could light up the building sometimes like A.I.
Cheeks and Toney formed a championship guard rotation in 1983 along with Clint Richardson.
4. Julius Erving and George McGinnis
Erving and McGinnis didn’t win the Finals together, but they played in the 1977 edition as members of a magnificent team.
Arriving from the ABA, the prolific scorers were joined by Caldwell Jones. The latter became like the fifth wheel on a Cadillac. That’s how he sometimes described himself.
The dazzling duo of the Doctor and George rolled over defenses like brand new ‘Lacs.
McGinnis-Erving, Jones and World B. Free formed one of the most memorable teams in NBA history never to win the Finals. Chocked with talent, they were derailed after the Darryl Dawkins-Maurice Lucas fight in the 1977 Finals.
3. Billy Cunningham and Hal Greer
Both Greer and Cunningham had 1980s NBA-styled game during the 1960s and won a championship together in 1967.
The 6’6” Cunningham was nicknamed the Kangaroo Kid at the famed Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York. That’s where he proved so-called white men can hop, skip and jump.
Billy and Hal were lethal for opposing defenses to try stopping.
2. Hal Greer and Wilt Chamberlain
Greer is the franchise’s career scoring leader and Chamberlain was one of the most prolific scorers ever to lace up a pair of Chuck Taylors (canvas Converse All-Stars). Greer caused a lot of sprained ankles on opponents who dared trying to stay with him in their Chucks.
A Philly native, Chamberlain broke ankles, spirits and hearts in becoming a permanent name etched in basketball lore.
1. Moses Malone and Julius Erving
Never mind the fact Dr. J. and Moses wore old-school Converse and Nike sneakers. They rarely stepped on each other's toes. Their games blended seamlessly to break down the great wall of L.A.
In defeating the Lakers after three tries in the Finals, they were the superstars on Philadelphia's first NBA championship team since Wilt's days. In 1983, Malone was Mr. Inside and Dr. J. was Mr. Everything against Los Angeles.
I'm likewise your Mr. Everything when it comes to covering the 76ers. Stay tuned for more entertainment, even if the lockout lingers longer and wider than the Great Lakes region of the country.
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