Outstanding point guards don’t grow on trees. That’s why in Philadelphia 76ers history, there are only a handful of floor leaders that can be considered all-time Sixer greats. Who are these rare point guards?
A historic franchise with multiple championships, the Philadelphia 76ers have had many stars. Whether we are talking Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, or Joel Embiid, stars need a floor general. The floor general for these phenomenal players had to set the offense, run fast breaks, and a number of other duties that helped the team.
Let’s look into the top five points guards in Sixers history.
5. Johnny Dawkins
In 1989, the 76ers needed a point guard to elevate their status in the Atlantic Division. They had a stud forward in Charles Barkley and a solid shooting guard in Hersey Hawkins. So, management brought in a quick left-handed point guard to run the team. Johnny Dawkins would lead the Sixers for five seasons as the captain of the offense.
Dawkins played college ball at Duke University. As a Blue Devil, he played in the 1986 NCAA championship game after leading his team to a 37-3 record. That same year, he was named the Naismith College Player of the Year, averaging 20 points a game right before declaring for the NBA Draft.
He was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the 10th pick. As a Spur, Dawkins appeared in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, placing sixth. By the time he reached the Sixers, his point guard career was steady. He arrived in Philadelphia averaging 13 points and almost six assists. Those numbers would stay consistent as he played under the roof of the Spectrum.
As he played alongside Charles Barkley, Hersey Hawkins, Mike Gminski, and Rick Mahorn, the team flourished in the division. Dawkins was a steady floor leader, getting the team set and involving his teammates within the offensive flow of games.
Although he was not a big 3-point threat, Dawkins averaged 14 points, seven assists, and almost two steals a game the year he led his Sixers to the playoffs. Of course Barkley would lead the team in scoring and rebounds, but Dawkins averaged nine assists in 10 playoff games.
If not for nagging knee injuries, Dawkins would have played more games and made a bigger impact for the 76ers. Sadly, Dawkins’ career ended in 1995 with the Detroit Pistons.