The NBA during the 1990s was a very exciting brand that was on the upswing. A star in Michael Jordan was willing his Chicago Bulls teams to championships, and the San Antonio Spurs at the end of the decade was starting its own dynasty. The Dream Team was assembled to play in Barcelona, and put on a spectacle that had the whole world in awe. The 1990s was one of the most exhilarating times for basketball fans. Philadelphia 76ers fans did not get the opportunity to enjoy much of what was going on with their team.
The 76ers before the 1990s had been historically one of the best franchises in the league, but dark times would arise during this time period. First, the team made an absolutely terrible trade sending Charles Barkley to the Phoenix Suns for virtually nothing. Barkley would go on to win the MVP of the NBA after being traded away, and the Sixers struggled greatly without him. The team was devoid of a star player until they selected Allen Iverson first overall in the 1996 NBA draft. The team still struggled after Iverson joined, and many of the players who found themselves in the starting lineup were not worthy of being NBA starters.
15. Rick Mahorn
Rick Mahorn was by no means a terrible basketball player, but he did not produce eye popping statistics while he played for the Philadelphia 76ers. Mahorn started for the team during the 1989-90 season and the 1990-91 season. During this time Charles Barkley was the main front court player for the team, and Mahorn was kind of just another guy. Mahorn had previously been a member of the bad boy Pistons, and had played an integral role in helping them win an NBA championship. The Sixers were a team that did not know how to win yet in the playoffs due to their youth, and Mahorn was unable to produce the best of numbers while playing in Philadelphia. Mahorn averaged around 10 points and eight rebounds per game in his two seasons as a starter for the 76ers.
His best years of his NBA career came when he was in Detroit, where a specific role had been carved out for him.
14. Eric Snow
Eric Snow was brought onto the Philadelphia 76ers by Larry Brown, who thought it would be best to have a true point guard. Before this Allen Iverson was playing the point guard primarily. Iverson moved over to the shooting guard position which allowed Snow to be the guy to dribble the ball up the majority of the time. Snow had some deficiencies, but he did whatever was needed from him for the better of the whole team. Shooting was something that Snow was not proficient at. Snow occasionally would score in the double figures while on the 76ers, but having Iverson as his teammate made it easier for him to distribute the ball. Leading the Sixers up the floor, Snow was able to regularly dish out seven assists or more per game. Eric Snow’s biggest strength was his play on the defensive end of the floor, and many players around the league did not want to be defended by Snow when they faced the Sixers.
13. Ron Anderson
Ron Anderson was not primarily a starter for the 76ers, but he did start in a handful of games during the 1990-91 season and 1991-92 season. Anderson was a decent scorer while playing for the Sixers. On any given night whether he was starting or coming off the bench he was capable of scoring in double figures, but this was the only aspect of his game that he was any good at. Anderson was not exceptional at setting up teammates or grabbing offensive or defensive rebounds. This may have been a reason he did not get as many starts as he may have expected while playing in Philadelphia. Anderson was also not a great scorer, but in actuality was only a good scorer.
During his time with the Philadelphia 76ers Ron Anderson did mot grab many rebounds or dish out a ton of assists, but he did average nearly 13 points per game during his stint with Philly in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
12. Shawn Bradley
Shawn Bradley had an immense amount of expectations placed on him before he ever played a game in the NBA. Bradley was surprisingly selected extremely high in the 1993 NBA draft, as the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Bradley with the number two overall pick. Bradley stood 7-foot-6 and was expected to be an outstanding shot blocker in the NBA. While he was with the Sixers he blocked about three shots per game, but this was the only statistical category that he dominated in while in Philadelphia. Bradley struggled to score at a high rate only scoring around nine points per game. From a role player this would not be a disappointing scoring output, but a number two pick in the draft needs to be able to score at a consistent rate. Bradley also was only able to grab eight rebounds a game during his three years in Philly.
11. Matt Geiger
Matt Geiger is best known around Philly for holding up a potential trade that involved Allen Iverson just before the 76ers made a title run during the 2000-01 NBA season. Geiger tended to not get a ton of playing time towards the end of basketball games, but he started a majority of the games he played for the team during the 1998-99 season and the 1999-00 season. Usually a player who stands close to seven feet tall is expected to grab a lot of rebounds for his team. Geiger only averaged a pedestrian six and a half rebounds per game as a starter in the 1990s, and his scoring output was equally disappointing. Geiger’s best attribute was his scoring but perhaps one of the weakest parts of his game was his defensive abilities.
The Sixers were fortunate to have a great shot blocker in Theo Ratliff alongside Geiger, and Geiger sadly could not even average a whole block per game.
10. Tony Massenburg
Tony Massenburg only played one lone season for the Philadelphia 76ers during his long career. Massenburg is best known for playing on 12 different NBA teams during his career, and although he was never a star player in the NBA he was a great team player which resulted in him sticking around in the association for so long. Playing for 12 teams has been Massenburg’s only path to the record books tying a couple others for the dubious honor. Massenburg was traded to the Sixers midway through the 1995-96 NBA season and only played 30 games for the team.
The 76ers were not a very good team at the time and there were plenty of shots to go around on this mediocre squad. Massenburg was only able average nine points a game. With such a low scoring output he should have focused most of his attention on grabbing boards, but he only grabbed about six rebounds a game during his short tenure in Philadelphia.
9. George Lynch
George Lynch played three seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, and all but two games that he played for the team he started. Lynch was a part of the hardnosed Sixer team in the year 2000-01 that made it all the way to the NBA finals to face the Los Angeles Lakers. A lot of the role players on that team were best known for doing the dirty work by hustling on the court throughout the entire game and playing sound defense. Lynch was an excellent defender, and this was the major reason that he was a part of the starting lineup. Lynch was best at contributing to the team in aspects that did not show up on the stat sheet.
His numbers on the stat sheet were not all that impressive, and during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1990s Lynch averaged only nine points and seven rebounds per game.
8. Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas had a long NBA career, but his time with the 76ers was very short lived. Thomas only spent his first year and a half on the team before moving on to the Milwaukee Bucks. His career ended in 2010 when he briefly played for the Dallas Mavericks. The athleticism and scoring of Thomas were his greatest traits on the basketball court. His mid-range jump shot and ability to finish at the basket were hard to stop, and he exerted much of his energy on the offensive end of the floor. Front court players are typically supposed to be able to grab rebounds for their team at a high rate. Thomas was not that kind of player. He struggled mightily at grabbing boards while with the Sixers, and was only good for around four rebounds per game. Thomas averaged a modest 11 points per game, but if he exuded more focus on rebounding the ball he would’ve stuck on the Sixers roster for a longer time period.
7. Rickey Green
Rickey Green was the starting point guard for the 76ers for only one season during the 1990-91 NBA campaign. The face of the Sixers at the time was Charles Barkley, but the Sixers were far away from being a contender at the time. Rickey Green was nearing the end of a long career that had spanned over a decade. When he suited up for the 76ers he was already 36 years old, and this played a part in his play being mediocre. Green was not much of a scorer and only scored around 10 points per game while with the team.
The point guard is counted on to distribute the ball effectively during the course of a game, but Green failed to do so. Green was only able to average five assists while on the team, and his play while in Philly may have been a precursor that he did not have much time left in the association.
6. Tim Perry
Tim Perry was a lottery pick in the 1988 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns and largely underperformed considering high he was drafted. Perry was acquired in the trade that sent Barkley to the Suns. This trade was one of the most lopsided deals in NBA history, and Perry failed to produce much for a struggling Sixers team during his four years with the team. He was extremely athletic and even participated in three slam dunk contests during his time in the NBA.
Perry primarily started during the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons. These were two of the roughest seasons during the 1990s for the 76er franchise, and Perry’s numbers did not look much better than the teams win loss record. During his two seasons as a starter, Perry scored around nine points per game and only grabbed five boards a game. The strength of his game was his ability to play defense and block shots.
5. Charles Shackleford
Charles Shackleford played two seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, but he only started for the team during the 1991-92 NBA season. His basketball career bounced back and forth between the NBA and other basketball leagues around the world. Shackleford started alongside Charles Barkley in the front court, and Barkley himself was a fierce rebounder. Since Barkley seemed to grab every board that was up for grabs, Shackleford struggled with the Sixers to rebound the ball at a high rate. Shackleford struggled to get even close to double figure rebounding numbers in games, and his offensive game was not much better. Doube digit rebound games were hard to come by for Shackleford but so were games with double digit points. In his lone season as a starter he only averaged seven points and six rebounds per game. The most disappointing part of his game is that he was a lousy shot blocker, and for his career he did not even average a block a game.
4. Scott Williams
Scott Williams had a long 15 year run in the NBA, despite not being a key contributor for any of the teams he played on during his career. Williams spent five of those 15 years playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. The bulk of his starts came during the 1994-95 season and 1996-97 season, and these were very dark times for the 76ers franchise. The team finished towards the bottom of the NBA in both of those seasons. Williams was not very efficient in the front court, and even though he started games he would normally barely play over 20 minutes per game. Scoring was a challenge for him. He only managed to average six points a game for a team devoid of many scoring options, and also failed to grab rebounds at a high rate. Even though Williams stood at 6-foot-10, he only provided a blocked shot every other game.
3. Jeff Grayer
Jeff Grayer had a nine year NBA career which took a short lived stop in Philadelphia. Grayer only played in 47 total games for the Sixers, and he only started in 25 of those 47 games. His time with the team was very unproductive. This may have been a factor in why he did not play to long for the team, and Grayer failed to stick with the 76ers after the 1994-1995 season. The Sixers were abysmal while Grayer was a part of the organization. They were so horrendous they had to start the journeyman Grayer in hopes of him being a diamond in the rough find. Grayer only averaged eight points per game, and did not contribute much of anything in any other statistical category. He was a below average three point shooter and only managed to shoot 42 percent from the field. The Sixers did not have a lot of bad back court players that started during the 1990’s but Jeff Grayer was one of the few Sixers that were not all that good.
2. Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang had a long spanning 10 year career in the National Basketball Association, but in the middle of his long tenure in the league he was a starter for one season with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1992-93 campaign. Lang was sent to the Sixers via the Phoenix Suns as part of a package for Charles Barkley. Lang was the starting center for the 76ers during his lone season, but failed to make much of an impact when in the game. He was a great shot blocker during his time with the Sixers averaging almost two blocks a game. Every other aspect of Lang’s game was just not impressive. He only managed to score five points per game, and with Barkley gone the team had a lot more shots to go around for everyone. His rebounding number of six a game also was too low for a starting front court player in the NBA.
1. Derrick Alston
Derrick Alston had a brief career in the NBA that spanned only three seasons, and the 76ers had Alston’s services for two of those three seasons. The Sixers must have been thin at the center position for the 1995-96 NBA season to have to started Alston. The Sixers season went so far south that they selected first in the 1996 NBA draft. Centers that are offensively challenged are usually relied on as a rim protector, but Alston was not the defensive machine that the team was hoping for. This was made apparent by the fact that he could not even average a block a game.
As mentioned before, Alston was not even an average offensive player. He did not look to score much because of his lack of a post game. Alston during his lone season as a starter only produced six points and four rebounds per game, and the argument can be made that he was the worst starting player for Philly during the 1990s.
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