Stats: 14 PTS, 8.5 REB, 1.3 BLK per game in about 33 minutes
Mike Gminski looks to be the inspiration for Will Ferrell’s character in Semi-Pro, except they exchanged Gminski’s mullet for an afro due to the era change. Tell me he isn’t:
Anyway, now that this comparison is over, we can move onto Gminski. Mike Gminski is memorable mostly for his odd look for an NBA player, especially nowadays. But he was very much a good player during his time in Philadelphia. During a 4-year span of his career (2.5 with NJ, 1.5 with PHI) Gminski averaged 17 pts and 9 reb per game with roughly an 18 PER. Not bad for a guy who invokes memories of Jackie Moon. Also not bad for a Center manning the frontline alongside Charles Barkley.
Gminski played for two playoff teams as a Sixer, from 1988-90, but he struggled in those appearances. While he averaged 14.5 pts and 6.5 reb, he didn’t play efficiently, with a PER under 12, a step below his level from the regular season. The Sixers with Barkley and Gminski in the middle were never able to get over the hump, losing in the playoffs both times. Gminski was then traded in the midst of a slump in 1990-91 for Armen Gilliam, among others. He seemed bitter about the trade (credit to Bob Ford, who is still at the Inquirer), and he seemingly improved upon moving to New Orleans. Though it turned out the Sixers were right in trading him, as he steadily declined from there on out over the rest of his NBA career.
Gminski is in some ways memorable, in other ways not at all. He’s memorable for his look – he doesn’t look like an NBA player from today, and the mullet adds something extra that I cannot quantify. But nothing he did ultimately mattered in team history, except that he was traded for another player who will wind up on this list. For his solid production and playoff appearances, Gminski makes the list at number 19.