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16 Days Till Sixers: A History Of Horrid Big Men

May the basketball god bless Joel Embiid with eternal health from here on out.


I wasn't sure what to do with myself when the Sixers drafted Joel Embiid with the 3rd overall pick. I was excited that Sam Hinkie was able to draft arguably the most talented guy in the 2014 draft class, but for the most part I was scared. Scared of what I've known that has haunted this team for what at this point is now decades: finding a capable big man.

For 18 years I've watched the Sixers bring in oaf after oaf, seven-foot tall ogres who move like they're trapped in quick sand, and a basketball IQ so low they could've been cast for Dumb and Dumber. I can only pray Embiid will be good enough to rid fans of the pain these players of the past have caused us.

Matt Geiger- One of the worst contracts the Sixers have ever given out (which is saying something), Philadelphia agreed to a six-year deal, $48 million deal with him in 1999. He was goofy and unathletic, and his knees (surprise!) eventually gave out on him, forcing him into retirement in 2002. He'll always be remembered as "the dude who stopped the Allen Iverson blockbuster", which actually was probably his greatest contribution to the team. He was disliked pretty greatly, and as Stephen A. Smith wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2001:

The fans appear to have lost faith in him, and their venom is unrelenting.

Cheers have been replaced by boos. Profanity has supplanted laughter. There are even insults from elementary school children, as adults watch with humor.

I may or may not have been one of those kids.

Todd MacCulloch- Philadelphia drafted MacCulloch in 1999, traded him to the Nets in 2001, then brought him back in 2002 (along with the legendary Keith Van Horn). He played 42 games for the Sixers in '02-03, then retired because he was losing feeling in his feet and hands. Big Mac was one of those guys who just made every type of movement look unnatural, and at the end of his career his body took the shape of a sack of potatoes. He now plays pinball professionally, where he's forced to sit on a stool because his feet are so bad. Here's to you, ginger giant.

Shawn Bradley- A summation of Bradley's career in one 6 second video:

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Don't let the movie fool you, that's just about a genuine depiction of the way he moved. The director literally told him to just start running. Props to the Monstars for finding any talent to steal in the first place.

Charles Shackleford- Holder of the legendary quote: "left hand, right hand, it doesn't matter I'm amphibious", Shackleford genuinely played like how you would expect an amphibious animal to play: pretty damn awful. He spent two miserable seasons in Philadelphia.

Jamal Mashburn- Traded to the Sixers at the deadline of the 2004-05 season, apparently Philadelphia didn't care enough about his chronic knee problems. I feel like we know this feeling all too well.He didn't play at all in 04-05 nor 2005-06, and then proceeded to retire.

Jeff Ruland- Presented without comment.

Brandon Davies- Too soon?

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