I have been a die hard 76ers fan since 1996. Though the trade of Allen Iverson a decade later admittedly broke my heart, that didn't stop my love affair with the professional basketball franchise of the city of brotherly love.
Besides the obvious run to the finals in 2000-01, one of my favorite eras in Sixers history is the overlap of the two A.I.'s in which we were treated to several high-flying memories courtesy of the transition game and the slam dunk contest robbery.
At this point, none of us knew (for sure) that starting in 2007, Andre Iguodala would have to boast the sixers on broad shoulders without the help of his initial-sake.
Iguodala responded to the responsibility by having his best statistical year he'd ever had, only to top it again in the 2008-09 season where he averaged over 18 points, over 5 assists, and over 5 rebounds. What is perhaps more impressive, is that he has not foiled, coming close to maintaining the better part of those lines to date.
Despite an all-around impressive and consistent showing, A.I.2., as he was coined coming to Philadelphia from Arizona University, has been the most unappreciated sports figure in Philadelphia including, Donovan McNabb.
At the pace he is performing, if he gives the 76ers his services until age 34, operating at anywhere close to the level he is now, he will be in the top 5 76ers of all-time in points, defensive rebounds, assists, steals, minutes, and 3-point field goals. A resume at least earning him his name and #9 in the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center.
Lou Williams knows. Sweet Lou has been Iggy's teammate for over 6 years, being drafted a year and a half before Allen Iverson was traded.
Thaddeous Young was drafted in 2007, just in time to join Iggy in the quest for success without a true superstar.
The three veterans have had a marvelous start to their 5th season playing alongside one another. Despite trade talk being close to the highest it's ever been in recent years, these three players make up a Sixers core that I would be ecstatic to see be around when this team has it's first real success in over a decade.
Obviously, we have seen that in the business that is the NBA, no one is completely off-limits or untouchable, but unless absolutely necessary, these are pieces I would love to see the Sixers keep.
What are some of you guys favorite Sixer memories and/or current players you think hold intangible value to the team?