Sharone Wright is one of our favorite conversation starters here at Liberty Ballers. He was also a code word in Vegas when one of the LB'ers was getting a little too handsy with Bobby Jackson ("Sharone, Dave."). He's also my SBN avi. Basically, we love him.
So on SB Nation NBA's "Best Trade Ever" Day, I assessed our options, and found that we have already beat the Andrew Bynum horse into the ground. I have used the same words and phrases to describe that deal to the point where I'm actually not excited about the trade anymore (this is me lying.). And since Liberty Ballers was sort of founded on pessimism -- at least since I started -- it's time to go back to our melancholy ways before the season starts and we're all sunshine and rainbows and freshly deodoranted armpits.
THE YEAR WAS 1994.
The Sixers had just finished 25-57 under the recently-fired Fred Carter. Clarence Weatherspoon had just dominated in his sophomore campaign for the horrendous Sixers, to the tune of 18 and 10 as a Charles Barkley clone. Dana Barros was still lending his beautiful talents. Shawn Bradley was growing into his limbs. The future was bright.
June 29th. Indianapolis. The Sixers held pick number 6 in a fascinating sequence of trades and tradebacks. Jeff Hornacek was aging not quite gracefully and the Sixers needed a wing badly. Really badly. Future inevitable Sixer Glenn Robinson was going number 1. That was certain. But there was hope that Grant Hill would drop. Maybe the Sixers would reach on local kid Eddie Jones. Lamond Murray had some hype coming in. Or that Jalen Rose kid from the Fab Five.
It was a different time then. NBA Draft predictions were down to just Derek in his basement writing in his composition book. Even still, Sharone Wright, unspectacular junior out of Clemson, was not on anybody's radar. His middle name is Addaryl. Which I choose to pronounce "A Darryl". He's not even a specific Darryl. He's just an arbitrary Darryl.
Fast forward to February 22nd, 1996. Spoon, Stack, and VERNON MAXWELL were leading the Sixers to a mid-90's Phillies level record of 18-64 for coach Johnny Lucas. Scott Williams was making me bleed -- even at the age of 6, I had full detachability of my appendages. Lucas was referring to Sharone as "Charmin". So what was the best option? Why, trade your first round pick of the previous season for TONY MASSENBURG AND ED PINCKNEY.
Dave detailed it in his last Remember This Guy post, but honestly, if this trade happened today, I wouldn't have any limbs left to type with. Pinckney never did much in the pros, but by the time the Sixers got him at age 32, he was 6 feet, 9 inches, and about 20 pounds of muscle. He would've been the definition of a journeyman, if not for the other guy. Massenburg. He played for 7 teams before he turned 28. He was simply a body. He had a body. And was a body.
This was them giving up on Sharone before he could develop into the terrible journeyman he was meant to become. It wasn't the worst trade in franchise history, but it was a microcosm of the Sixers pre-Iverson anemia after their run of success in the 80s. God bless Sharone Wright.