Such controversy follows Barkley. On various occasions he has criticized 76ers management, criticized teammates and clashed with reporters.
Nevertheless, no one doubts what Barkley can do on the court. And many fans in Philadelphia were already questioning whether the 76ers had received enough in return for Barkley.
Philadelphia 76ers (@Sixers) December 26, 2013
Name: Jeff Hornacek
College: Iowa St
Sixers Tenure: 1992-1994
Is There a Jeff Hornacek Circus Shot Highlight Reel?: Yes. Yes, there is.
Dave, sweetie. Are you sitting down? We have to talk. Your dad and I have something to tell you.
"What is it, mom? Is everything alright? Is it grandma?"
No, no, sweetie. Grandma's fine. But the Sixers just traded Charles Barkley for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry.
Jeff Hornacek's Sixers tenure will forever be linked to the Barkley trade, which probably isn't fair. Hornacek didn't pull the trigger on one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. That honor is bestowed upon Jim Lynam and Harold Katz, who personally set out to ruin an eight year old boy's childhood. Seems a bit vindictive, but whatever.
Lynam said that this package was the best offer the Sixers received. But was it? That same article above indicates that Kevin Johnson's name was floated around, but salaries didn't match up. And this June 1992 article by Phil Jasner hinted at a few more trade rumors.
So let's go to the Trade Rumor Time Machine.
Barkley and Hersey Hawkins for Billy Owens and Tim Hardaway
Hardaway was a 25 year old stud, and also my favorite non-Sixer at the time, and Owens was just named to the All-Rookie Team after his freshman campaign in Golden State. Barkley was 28 at the time, and "The Hawk," a personal favorite and a very good player in his own right, was just 25. Do I love giving up Hersey, too? No, but I get a stud point guard (See ya, Johnny Dawkins) to build around and a rookie with loads of potential. I'm in. I give it a B+.
Barkley for Pervis Ellison and considerations?
Never Nervous Pervis actually averaged 20 and 11 for the Bullets that season , but, ok, timeout, hindsight has to step in here ... If I'm giving up Barkley for Pervis and considerations, those considerations better include the Lincoln Monument. I give this offer a C-.
Barkley for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry.
F. I give this deal an F.
Hornacek could play, and he put up some numbers here in Philadelphia, but he wasn't an All-Star power forward. Few were. Getting an even return was nearly impossible. But the Sixers didn't just get swindled on that trade. They got pantsed, wet willied, and then tarred and feathered in front of City Hall.
Every big, plodding center in the last twenty-five years is Andrew Lang. Take off Kwame Brown's headband and you have Andrew Lang. How you all fell for the disguise is beyond me. You're like Lois Lane trying to solve the Clark Kent/Superman riddle. Come on, fellas. We're not searching for Amelia Earhart here. All Lang did was put on a headband.
Remember LaSalle Thompson? No, you don't, because that's Andrew Lang. Primoz Brezec? Nope. Not a real person. That's also Lang.
The second player in that deal was Temple's own, Tim Perry. Perry wins some local flavor points for bleeding Cherry and White, but loses a boat load more for his Slam Dunk Contest performances. I personally don't watch the Dunk Contest anymore - not since Iguodala was robbed during the Houston Screwjob - but when you're a kid, you love the Slam Dunk Contest. I didn't have much of a vertical, so I just did a variation of the Statue of Liberty on my Nerf net over and over. But I had that "it" factor. I played to the crowd (see: Hulk Hogan teddy bear). I brought pizzazz to the dunk contest.
Tim Perry I was not. Did Perry get dumped minutes before the contest? Did he just watch an advance screening of Marley and Me? Why was he always moping around? Did he get blackmailed into the contest on three separate occasions? I watched the '95 dunk contest with a bag over my head and didn't take it off until Terry Francona was fired.
Hornacek was the prize acquisition from Phoenix. He was the predecessor to Fred Hoiberg at Iowa St; a sharp-shooting two-guard who seemingly missed just two jumpers a month. He was a good player here in Philly. But where were the Sixers going with Hornacek? What was the end game? They acquired a pretty decent off-guard who was already 28 years old. Hornacek averaged 19 and 7 in his first year here under Doug Moe/Fred Carter, but when your team is giving up 187 points per game, what's 19 and 7?
Jeff wasn't the problem, but he also wasn't the solution. The next season, the Sixers traded Hornacek to Utah due to the legislative decree passed down by Brigham Young, and witnessed by John Crotty, which states that every white guard must play for the Jazz at some point in their career. It's God's will. In exchange for Hornacek, Sean Green and a second round pick, the Sixers received an aging Jeff Malone and a late first rounder which we parlayed into perennial All-Star, B.J. Tyler.
Hornacek played out his steady and successful career for a very strong Jazz team. He shared the backcourt with John Stockton; both running around in their little short shorts, like two actors in a Nair commercial. Hornacek had a very distinct look. And it wasn't just the throwback shorts, but the hair, too. So well-manicured, groomed.
"Who's that guy?"
Oh, that's the new guy, Jeff. He works in accounts receivable. I think he plays for the Sixers, too. Good jump shot; strong debits and credits game, too."
Ne'er a strand out of place. Hornacek looked like the guy who ran for student council president who you would've voted for on Election Day, but didn't, because you were too busy smoking behind the gym discussing the meaning of life, the nWo, and Toni Kukoc's role in Larry Brown's system.
After leaving Philadelphia, Jeff had very few run-ins with the Sixers. Until briefly being discussed for the head coaching position with the Sixers last summer, Hornacek's only notable encounter with the Sixers was a 1996 incident with Jerry Stackhouse. Now, ‘Stack can fight, and ‘ol Jeff learned that you can't just bring a jump shot to a fist fight. Aside from that, both Hornacek and Philly went their separate ways. Hornacek is now the head coach of a fast, exciting and surprising Phoenix Suns, and our Sixers are doing just fine.
So, today, we remember Jeff Hornacek. Creative and smooth. No, he wasn't Charles Barkley. But he wasn't Andrew Lang or Tim Perry either.