It’s summertime in the NBA, so it’s time to learn some history. The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the older franchises in the NBA. Their history dates to the 1949-50 season.
With that longevity, the team has had hundreds of players come through the City of Brotherly Love. Sixers Wire looks at the No. 21 which has been worn by 14 of those players in the history of the franchise.
This running series will go through all of the uniform numbers worn in franchise history. The previous edition of this series was a list compiling the 16 players who have worn the No. 22.
Here is the list of the 14 who have worn No. 21 in Sixers history:
Larry Costello, 1959-1968
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Costello wore two numbers as a player for the Syracuse Nationals as well as the Sixers. He wore No. 21 for his final eight seasons with the team. He spent the 1965-66 season playing in the EBL before returning to Philadelphia the following season. He moved into coaching after his playing career ended.
Archie Clark, 1968-1971
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Clark played 241 games across four seasons for the Sixers, and he averaged 18.2 points, 4.7 assists and 4.0 rebounds during those games.
World B. Free, 1975-1978
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Nicknamed “World” for his all-world athleticism, Free played his first three seasons wearing No. 21 for Philadelphia, and he averaged 13.6 points and 3 assists in 225 games. He returned to the Sixers in 1986 and he wore No. 12.
Kenny Green, 1985-1987
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Green played 40 games across two seasons donning the No. 21, and he averaged 3.9 points and 1.6 rebounds.
Derek Smith, 1989
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Smith wore two different numbers with the Sixers. He wore No. 21 in the 1988-89 season when he was acquired in a midseason trade before switching to No. 18 in the 1989-90 season.
Kenny Payne, 1989-1993
Payne played 144 games in his career, all with the Sixers donning No. 21, and he averaged 3.5 points and 1.2 rebounds.
Derrick Alston, 1994-1996
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Alston played 137 games for Philadelphia across two seasons, and he averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds during those games.
Joe Courtney, 1996
Courtney played only four games for the Sixers donning the No. 21, and he averaged 3 points and 2.3 rebounds in those games.
Larry Hughes, 1998-2000
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Hughes played 100 games for Philadelphia, and he averaged 9.6 points and 3.5 rebounds before being traded to the Golden State Warriors in 2000.
Matt Harpring, 2001-2002
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Harpring played one season in Philadelphia, and he averaged 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in 81 games.
Greg Buckner, 2002-2004
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Buckner played 128 games for the Sixers across two seasons, averaging 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds.
Matt Barnes, 2005-2006
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Originally acquired from the Sacramento Kings in the Chris Webber deal, Barnes didn’t play for Philadelphia after the trade. He then signed with the New York Knicks in the 2005 offseason, played six games for them, and then returned to the Sixers. He averaged 3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 50 games.
Thaddeus Young, 2007-2014
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Young was always a solid player throughout his career with the Sixers. He played seven seasons in Philadelphia averaging 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals as he was a reliable player and somebody the Sixers could count on every night.
Joel Embiid, 2014-present
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Sixers fans might have heard of this guy. After missing the first two seasons of his career due to foot injuries, Embiid has morphed into one of the best players in the league. The big fella has career averages of 26.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists and he should probably have two MVP awards on his resume, but that’s for another day.