Philadelphia 76ers: All-time favorite bracket, Part III

Julius Erving | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Julius Erving | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

The games continue, and these Philadelphia 76ers legends are on deck.

As anticipated, day two of our favorite Sixers bracket yielded more upsets. A wave of apparent recency bias hit the voting body, with Mike Scott and Nik Stauskas both ousting Hall of Famers. But, that’s fine — it is, again, favorite, not best.

We have seen a few complaints about the results, and to a degree, I understand them. How could Mike Scott, who joined the team in a reserve capacity last season, beat Andrew Toney, the mythical Boston Stangler.

Well, obviously Twitter has more young fans than old. Also, Scott has done a great deal to endear himself to the city of Philadelphia. He has built up a devout following like few NBA players have, and in turn united a good chunk of the fanbase in friendship and in basketball. He’s a good dude, and he’s done a good deal in the community. In my view, there’s no harm in him getting a nod.

In fact, one might argue this tournament gives us a unique insight into the Philadelphia 76ers legends who have — and haven’t — stuck in the local culture. Younger generations voted Andre Iguodala over J.J. Redick, as well as Bobby Jones over Andre Miller. Not the exact same scenarios, but nonetheless, a good glimpse at which legacies have stood the test of time and infiltrated younger audiences.

With that said, here are the results from yesterday’s contests.

Here are today’s matchups.

(2) Julius Erving vs. (63) Tobias Harris

Few nicknames in the grand history of NBA basketball carry as much weight — as much swagger — as Dr. J, the one and only Julius Erving. It was Erving who re-popularized Sixers basketball in the 1970s, bringing a new wave of athleticism and skill rarely seen in years prior. He helped lead Philadelphia to a championship in 1983, and many more Finals appearances before that.

Harris joined the Sixers last season and re-upped on a massive five-year, $180 million extension last summer. He hasn’t lived up to the contract in the eyes of some, but to quote Brett Brown, he’s good people. He’s also a talented scorer, a strong presence on the glass, and a vocal leader.

(31) Kyle Korver vs. (34) Theo Ratliff

Korver spent the first four seasons of his NBA career in Philadelphia before being traded midway through season five. In his four full seasons, Korver averaged 10.5 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting from deep. He’s been a shooter from day one.

Ratliff patrolled the paint for a living. He was one of the league’s premier shot blockers in his prime, and he leveraged it to earn his lone All-Star appearance in 2001 as part of the Sixers. He was traded away before the Sixers’ Finals run that season, but he spent three and a half productive years in Philadelphia.

(15) Dolph Schayes vs. (50) Samuel Dalembert

Schayes was a dominant star in the early days of NBA basketball. He spent his entire 15-year career with the organization, though 14 of those years were spent in Syracuse, not yet Philadelphia. He was a prolific scorer, known for his high-arcing jumper and, at the time, some tantalizing athletic tools. He is a legend through and through.

Dalembert spent the first eight years of his career in Philadelphia — nine if you count his second season, which was lost entirely to a knee injury. Joining shortly after the Finals run in 2001, Dalembert started at the tail end of an era. He wasn’t an 82-game starter until his fifth healthy season, but Dalembert was a productive auxiliary talent.

(18) Jrue Holiday vs. (47) Paul Seymour

Holiday was famously the first domino to fall under the Sam Hinkie regime. The summer after his first All-Star appearance, Holiday was shipped to New Orleans on draft night. In the four years prior, he was one of the NBA’s most exciting young talents — a budding two-way star. He played a part in the Sixers’ magical 2012 postseason, and to date, his All-Star appearance in 2013 remains his only one.

Seymour spent all but one season of his long NBA career as a Syracuse National. He made his reputation on the defensive end, where he pestered ill-prepared guards and took pleasure in flustering opponents. He was a true fan favorite at the time — the type of player who fired up fans and teammates equally. Seymour was a tough, gritty player, and Philadelphia tends to worship players in that vein.

(7) Moses Malone vs. (58) Al Cervi

The Sixers were a force in the late 70s and early 80s. It was Moses Malone, however, who pushed them over the top in 1983. Next to Dr. J and a slew of other memorable Sixers, Malone led the 1983 title push, which culminated in a Finals MVP. He’s one of the greatest big men of all-time.

Cervi played with the Syracuse Nationals from 1949-1953 — the entirety of his NBA career. He was another tough-minded, physical defender on the perimeter. He consistently guarded the opposition’s top perimeter threat, and was a fan favorite in the earliest annals of Sixers history.

(26) Larry Costello vs. (39) Caldwell Jones

Costello spent the first couple years of his NBA career in Philadelphia, but he was a member of the Warriors, not the Sixers. He was then shipped to Syracuse, where he spent six productive years before moving with the team to — you guessed it — Philadelphia. He played a major role in the Sixers’ 1967 championship run, and become known for his quirky approach to scoring at 6-foot-1.

Jones spent six seasons in Philadelphia, leaving in 1982, right on the cusp of the Sixers’ 1983 championship. Playing in a star-studded rotation, Jones embraced his status as a role player. He dug in on defense, aggressively crashed the boards, and made timely plays to benefit his more innately talented teammates.

(10) Billy Cunningham vs. (55) Tony Wroten

Cunningham was a Hall of Fame player and coach, both in Philadelphia. He was a sixth man during the Sixers’ 1967 title run, but he eventually took over the starting ropes soon after. He made four All-Star appearances in seven years as a Sixer. He was one of the most prolific frontcourt weapons of his generation.

Wroten is credited as the first person to coin “trust the process” when speaking about the Sixers’ rebuild. He never accomplish much outside of Philadelphia, but in the midst of Philadelphia’s long and grueling tear-down, Wroten was a bright spot. He played three of his four NBA seasons with the Sixers.

(23) Dikembe Mutombo vs. (42) T.J. McConnell

“No, no, no!” Famous in equal measure for his finger wag and his philanthropic efforts around the globe, Mutombo was a critical piece of the Sixers’ 2001 Finals run. He was past his prime, yes, but he still impacted winning as a towering presence at the rim. He’s a good player, and an ever better person.

McConnell, on the other hand, was a shining example of Sam Hinkie’s ambitious approach to team-building. An undrafted free agent with little to no NBA prospects, McConnell showed out on the Sixers’ Summer League team before scrapping his way to a roster spot. He ended up spending four years in Philadelphia, where he earned a reputation as not only a hard-nosed defender, but as the ultimate teammate.

dark. Next. Top 30 players in franchise history

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