Our series on the four jerseys fans of every NBA team continues today. It’s Atlantic Division week, and today we’re focusing on the Philadelphia 76ers. Remember, we’re not just going to list off four popular players in team history. We know that when you’re wearing a jersey, you’re going for a “look.” So every day we’re going to tell you the jersey you’ve got to have, the jersey you can’t go wrong with (in case you can’t find the first one), the jersey that will make people say “Oh, that’s awesome,” and the joke jersey that will have everyone laughing.
Go onto Ancestry.com and you’ll see the lineage of the Philadelphia 76’ers traced back to the days of the Syracuse Nationals, an original NBA team. And from day 1, the Nationals/Sixers were locked in battles with Eastern rivals like the Celtics and Knicks. NBA legends like Dolph Schayes donned the team colors, which shows how deep the history of the team runs. And if a Dolph Schayes jersey truly existed, it would be the coolest jersey ever. But it doesn’t, and that’s OK. We’ve got four pretty sweet jerseys anyway.
You Gotta Have:
Julius Erving — Dr. J is our first repeat jersey. His ABA jersey is the coolest Nets jersey you can rock. But J is really known as a Sixer. His most ridiculous in-game highlights came while wearing that #6 for Philly (the “rock the baby” dunk on Michael Cooper… and THE under the backboard layup). J was a talent unlike any other. And he’s one of few Sixers with a championship ring. When a player like this is part of your team’s history, you damn well better have his jersey.
You Can’t Go Wrong With:
Charles Barkley — Mr. Philly, Jr. Yeah, he had great years in Phoenix and there was some time in Houston. But it was obviously his time in Philly that defined him. That’s when he was the “Round Mound of Rebound.” And on top of the Chuck Wagon being one of the best ever whose best years came when he donned the #34 Sixers jersey, he was a personality everyone forgave, no matter how much trouble followed him. He’s always been the rare person who can say whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and not really get into any real trouble because of it. You’ll never go wrong with a #34 Barkley jersey in Philly, or anywhere else for that matter.
“Oh, That’s Awesome”:
Darryl Dawkins — Two words: “Chocolate Thunder.” It is absolutely the coolest thing in the world to be known for shattering backboards with your dunks. Sorry, everyone else, I know a lot of you were a lot better at basketball. But you go ask anyone who has ever picked up a basketball what’s the one thing they wish they could do, you will invariably hear “I just want to dunk once” almost every time. Dunking is cool. Dunking with so much force that you shatter the glass and become single-handedly responsible for the innovation of the break-away rim is the COOLEST. Wear that #53 with pride, Philadelphians, and dunk away on your nerf hoops knowing you’ve got one of the most awesome jerseys on earth.
“Oh, That’s Funny”:
Matt Geiger — Unlike some of our other joke jerseys, Geiger actually was decent. At least he was in the lockout-shortened season of 1998-99. He averaged 13.5 points per game, good for second on the team. His 7.2 rebounds were third best. But its what happened after that that tosses him into the “funny” category. He single-handedly blocked a four-team trade that would have shipped Allen Iverson out of town. Then, he got busted for breaking the league’s steroid policy before injuries ended his career.
Cruise into a bar with a #52 Geiger jersey and you’ll draw a few laughs. And they’d be good laughs that sparked up some conversation. Oh, sure, you might get a cheapie laugh with a Tony Massenburg or maybe a Stanley Roberts, but they’re the equivalent of jersey “knock knock” jokes. A Geiger gives you some substance.
There you have it. The four jerseys Sixers fans have got to have. Disagree with us? Let us know who we missed in the comments.
Tomorrow: The Toronto Raptors
Jeff Garcia collaborated on this post