(CTN News) – A look back at one of the best Sixers teams, the 1982-83 76ers.
Moses Malone seemed destined for success as soon as he was acquired by the 76ers in exchange for Caldwell Jones and a first-round pick.
Malone, along with Julius “Dr. J.” Erving, Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones, and the Sixers, helped the Sixers win the 1983 NBA title nine months after he was acquired from the Houston Rockets.
In the summer of 2022, the current Sixers hope James Harden’s acquisition from the Brooklyn Nets will end their 40-year championship drought.
Just as Malone holds the distinction of being a former league MVP, Harden is one of the league’s all-time greats who played for the Rockets during their most successful years. Once his career is over, Harden will also be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Harden is to Joel Embiid what Malone was to Erving. A team full of stellar role players took the Sixers to the promised land under Malone.
The 1982-83 team’s selfless play is the key to reaching their level of greatness this season. Malone and Harden need to emulate Jones instead of relying on what they provide.
Despite the talk about the Sixers’ need for ball movement, championship teams have hierarchies. It was Malone and Erving who dominated that championship season. No matter how great or insignificant each person was, they all played an important role.
To win the Sixers’ fourth NBA title, that’s what needs to happen during the upcoming playoffs.
Although the Sixers preach this is a “we season, not a me season,” not everyone has been satisfied with their role. It’s understandable. But all great NBA championship teams had standout players who sacrificed individual accolades and statistics for the team.
During his time with the Sixers, Jones, a Hall of Famer, was used this way. Exactly what P.J. Tucker has been doing since he was acquired by the Sixers in free agency last summer.
Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the Eastern Conference and in the NBA. This is what several of their players are doing for them (58-22). Ingles, Portis, Crowder, and Carter have all thrived in their specific roles off the bench.
The Bucks’ star players include Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton. The role players in Milwaukee would not have given their all if it weren’t for their selfless contributions.
With a 55-25 record, the Boston Celtics are second in the East Conference and NBA.
A player like P.J. Tucker has made a huge difference for this team, according to Jones. The ball doesn’t stay in his possession for very long; he passes it on to someone else.
He knows what he needs to do. When he’s open, he’ll shoot. If not, he’ll pass it on to someone else and knock three guys sideways to get rebounds and kick it out. There is a difference when you have players like that.
It’s the same with Georges Niang. He won’t back down from anyone. So I just encouraged the players: “Know your role and do your best.”