Nearly two weeks ago, the fine folks at 2K Games announced that NBA 2K18 would feature all-time teams for each of the league's 30 franchises. Our very own Kyle Neubeck took a stab at predicting what the Philadelphia 76ers' starting lineup would look like, and his list (unlike most on the Internet) was pretty spot-on.
2K Games ended the conjecture and speculation earlier today by revealing the rosters for the 30 all-time teams. As expected, there were a few surprises when it came to the Sixers' list:
Point Guard: Allen Iverson (97 Rating)
This selection doesn't need much explanation (or defending, for that matter). Sure... you could argue that Iverson was technically a shooting guard, opening up the PG spot for someone else, but any all-time starting lineup of Philadelphia 76ers without Iverson would be flat-out wrong.
Shooting Guard: Hal Greer (90 Rating)
Greer probably doesn't get enough respect from the younger generation of Sixers' fans, but the 6-2 shooting guard was undoubtedly one of the NBA's best perimeter players during the 1960s.
During his 15-year career with the Sixers/Syracuse Nationals, Greer - who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982 - made seven All-NBA teams and was selected to 10 consecutive All-Star games.
Small Forward: Julius Erving (94 Rating)
Dr. J was a perennial All-Star during his 11-year run with the 76ers, and he ended his career in the top-5 of virtually every offensive category in Sixers' franchise history. Sadly, Erving spent the early part of his prime years in the ABA, but he still blessed us with a lifetime's worth of incredible memories.
Power Forward: Billy Cunningham (91 Rating)
The "Kangaroo Kid" was selected by the 76ers in the first round of the 1965 NBA Draft and was an integral part of the franchise during the late 1960s / early 1970s (save for a brief two-year run with the Carolina Cougars of the ABA). As a 6-6 small forward, Cunningham averaged 20/10/4 during his nine seasons in Philadelphia, and was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.
Center: Wilt Chamberlain (93 Rating)
Chamberlain only played for the Philadelphia 76ers for three and a half seasons (1965-68) - his first stint in the city as a professional came as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors. That said, the "Big Dipper" collected three MVPs and led the Sixers to the 1967 NBA championship during those 3.5 seasons. So there's that.
2k finally has an edition with Wilt on the Sixers and they still manage to show disrespect, among other issues with this list: pic.twitter.com/6nRtSHWLVe— Scott Kessler (@scottdkessler) August 24, 2017
Reserve: Andre Iguodala (87 Rating)
This might seem a bit odd at first glance, but Andre Iguodala has a pretty solid case for a place on this list. On the franchise's all-time leaderboard, Iguodala is third in three-pointers (563), fourth in steals (1,076), sixth in assists (2,991) and ninth in points (9,422). Add in the fact that he was (and remains) one of the league's better wing defenders, and it's not hard to see how he made the cut.
Reserve: Hersey Hawkins (87 Rating)
This one is a bit of a head scratcher, primarily because Hersey Hawkins only played in Philadelphia for five seasons (and mostly for mediocre teams). But don't sleep on Hawk: The 6-3 SG out of Bradley averaged 19.0 points per game as a Sixer (while shooting nearly 41 percent from deep), and was named to the 1991 Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Reserve: George McGinnis (87 Rating)
How the 1977 Sixers with George McGinnis, Erving, Doug Collins, World B. Free and Darryl Dawkins didn't win the NBA title remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in NBA history.
Alas... championship or not, McGinnis was one of the league's most prolific players during his three seasons with the 76ers. Two All-Star nods to go along with a 20.2/11.0/3.7 stat line is impressive in any era, and especially so given the talent surrounding McGinnis in the late '70s.
Reserve: Doug Collins (87 Rating)
Knee injuries limited Doug Collins to just 415 games, but the former No. 1 overall pick clearly merits a spot on the Sixers' all-time roster. Collins was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team for four consecutive seasons during his prime, and was an absolute bulldog defensively.
Reserve: Joel Embiid (86 Rating)
This is where the list starts to go left. Joel Embiid - God bless his soul - has played all of 31 NBA games. As such, I simply can't make a case for him on the Sixers' all-time team. With two more (relatively healthy) seasons under belt, he'd be a lock for the final 15 in NBA 2K20. But until then, this is a bit premature.
Reserve: Maurice Cheeks (86 Rating)
You can make the case that Cheeks should be the starting PG on the all-time Sixers team (with Iverson sliding over to SG), and there's plenty of evidence to back that argument up. In addition to being an excellent defender, Cheeks is the franchise leader in assists and steals, and scored an impressive 10,429 points during his Sixers' career.
Reserve: Jrue Holiday (84 Rating)
For what it's worth, Jrue Holiday is the Sixers' most recent All-Star game representative (2013), but like Embiid, he probably doesn't merit inclusion on this list.
Holiday is a nice player who will be remembered fondly for the four years of service that he gave to the Philadelphia 76ers. But even with that, he doesn't have the longevity nor the accolades to be considered one of the greatest players in franchise history.
Reserve: Darryl Dawkins (83 Rating)
Darryl Dawkins was larger than life both on and off of the court, and I'm glad to see that 2K Games is giving the sole inhabitant of Planet Lovetron the respect that he deserves.
Chocolate Thunder was a whirlwind of untapped potential, and during his seven seasons with the Sixers, he offered periodic glimpses of what could have been. Outside of Iverson, Erving and Chamberlain, Dawkins might be the most fun player to use in NBA 2K18.
Reserve: Henry Bibby (82 Rating)
Henry Bibby was a key contributor to two Sixers teams that made the NBA Finals (1977 and 1980), but he's another player whose inclusion is a bit suspect. The standout UCLA point guard averaged just 10.1 points and 4.6 assists during his four years with the Sixers.
Reserve: Aaron McKie (80 Rating)
Catch me on the right day, and I might put McKie on this list solely due to the fact that he kept Allen Iverson out of a lot situations that never made the newspaper. However, his numbers don't stack up well against other members of the 76ers' long and storied history.
If this were a list of the most beloved 76ers of all-time, then McKie would have a good shot at making the final 15. But his stats (7.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game) are rather pedestrian, and his 2001 Sixth Man of the Year honor isn't enough to vault him into all-time great status.
Joel Embiid made the #sixers all-time team in 2k as a reserve. Iggy and Jrue did as well, along with McKie. https://t.co/e63vqzJx9H— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) August 24, 2017
AND THE REST
Notably absent from the above list are both Charles Barkley and the late Moses Malone. Barkley has been quoted on wax detailing his problem with how 2K Games handles royalties, so this isn't a complete surprise (he also isn't present on the Phoenix Suns' all-time roster). Conversely, Malone was featured in previous iterations of the game, but licensing issues (possibly related to his untimely death in 2015) likely resulted in him not being included this year.
Two-time All-Star Andrew Toney, Dolph Schayes (12x All-NBA) and Bobby Jones (one of the league's premier 6th men) are also puzzling omissions from the Sixers all-time team. Given the choice, I'd include them over players like Holiday, Bibby and McKie, but again, 2K Games is limited in what they can do given usage/rights issues.
So... what do you think of the NBA 2K18 All-Time Sixers team? Did they get it right?