The Philadelphia 76ers get set to begin the 2021-22 season on Wednesday, kicking off the 75th season in NBA history. The league has been honoring the all-time greats in the history of the game as they have been putting out lists of the top 75 to ever play.
Here at Sixers Wire, we are not going to put out a list of the top 75 Sixers ever, but we will put together our all-time Sixers roster consisting of all of the legendary players who have thrown on a Sixers uniform.
To put together such a team, you have to go back and sift through a lot of history. The Sixers are one of the more historic franchises in the NBA so this gives a lot of players to choose from.
Here are our picks for the all-time Sixers roster in their franchise history starting with the five starters and the 10 bench players for a total of 15 on the roster:
Point guard: Maurice Cheeks
Cheeks is the prototypical point guard. He is the quarterback of a gym offensively and he was terrific defensively as well. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in assists and steals and he was a 4-time All-Star in Philadelphia. He doesn’t need to score all that much, though he will if he has to, but as long as he’s setting up his teammates, then he will be content.
Shooting guard: Allen Iverson
Now that the team has its pass-first point guard, it now needs its scoring machine next to him in the backcourt. Iverson was something special despite standing at just 6-feet tall. He led the league in scoring four times in Philadelphia and he is second in franchise history in points behind only Hal Greer. Cheeks and Iverson would be a scary backcourt.
Small forward: Julius Erving
Was there any other real choice? The good doctor is Sixers basketball. He’s in the top 10 in franchise history in points, steals, assists, blocks, and rebounds and he averaged a cool 22.0 points and 6.7 rebounds with the Sixers. He led Philadelphia to a title in 1983.
Power forward: Charles Barkley
Sir Charles would have actually been terrific in today’s era. He could truly play in any era as he was physical, he could shoot it a bit, and he was a beast on the glass. In terms of Sixers history, he’s fifth in franchise history in points and he’s third in rebounds.
Center: Wilt Chamberlain
Chamberlain was incredible during his time with the Sixers. He won an MVP in all three of his full seasons in Philadelphia and he led the franchise to a title in 1967. There was no other legitimate option to choose here in the franchise’s history.
Every good team needs that microwave scorer off the bench and that’s what Greer can do. You don’t start him over Iverson, but to have him come off the bench and focus on what he does best, which is scoring, would be a nice addition to have. He is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer after all.
This team would be invalid if Malone was not on it. He was the Finals MVP of the 1983 title team and he was the big piece that the team was missing in order to help Erving bring a title to Philadelphia. He was so sized and skilled at the position and he was such a good player in Sixers history.
Affectionately nicknamed “The Boston Strangler”, Toney was a nuisance for teams on either end of the floor to deal with. He was terrific on the offensive end as well as being one of the more elite defenders in the league at his position. He was an All-Star twice with the Sixers and was a key piece of the ’83 team.
You have to dig deep into the annals of Sixers history to find Schayes’ contributions. He played for the Syracuse Nationals from 1949-1963 before the franchise became the Sixers and he played a final season in Philadelphia. He averaged 18.5 points and 12.1 rebounds while being named an All-Star 12 times. He also led the Nationals to a title in 1955.
Cunningham was nicknamed “The Kangaroo Kid” as he was so energetic and he did what he had to in order to help the team win. Cunningham averaged 20.8 points and 10.1 rebounds and he was an All-Star four times with the Sixers. He was also the perfect complement to Chamberlain and Greer on the team’s title-winning team in ’67.
The ultimate 6th Man, Jones was a key piece on Philadelphia’s 1983 title team. He was named an All-Star twice in 1981 and 1982 and he ended up winning the 6th Man of the Year award in the ’83 title season. He is 7th in Sixers history in steals and has his number retired by the franchise.
Why not have one of the more dominant players in the game on the team? Embiid is entering his 6th season in Philadelphia and he’s been named an All-Star three times while averaging 24.8 points and 11.3 rebounds along with 3.1 assists in his career. He has done enough to warrant a spot here.
Kerr is one of the lesser-known players in this franchise’s history, but he made his impact for sure. He is 7th in franchise history in points and he is 2nd in rebounding while being named an All-Star three times. He helped the Nationals win the title in 1955 before they became the Sixers in 1963.
Like Embiid, and despite all of the current drama surrounding him, Simmons has accomplished much in his short career so far. In just four seasons, he has a Rookie of the Year award, an All-NBA Third Team appearance in 2020, three All-Star appearances, and he has garnered 32 triple-doubles which is good for second in franchise history behind only Chamberlain.
To round out the roster, we are throwing in one of the more well-rounded players in the history of the franchise. Iguodala averaged 15.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.9 assists while making an All-Star appearance in 2012 for the Sixers.