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Sports fans love to reminisce over the days when it all went wrong: the wasted draft pick, the tragic trade or the defecting hero. These may not be, by definition, the worst roster moves ever made, but they were the ones that affected us on a personal level. These are the events that caused -- and still cause -- us to sit on our bar stools and lament the cruel twists of life.
|CNNSI.com asked if Sixers fans had any opinions on the subject. And guess what ... they did.
Click here to read a sampling of what CNNSI.com users had to say.
By acquiring Dikembe Mutombo, the Sixers again are involved with a big-name center ... they can only hope it goes better this time around. CNNSI.com's Kevin Loughery looks at a series of Sixers misdeeds, starting with the 1986 Draft Day fiasco, followed by the deflating trade of Charles Barkley, the trade of hometown hero Wilt Chamberlain and the drafting of 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley.
| June 16,
| Sixers trade C Moses Malone, F Terry Catledge and two 1st-round picks to Washington for G Cliff Robinson and C Jeff Ruland
| June 16,
| Sixers trade 1st-round pick (C Brad Daugherty)
to Cleveland for F Roy Hinson
Injuries cut Brad Daugherty's career short, but he was an All-Star in five of his eight seasons. Tom Smart/Allsport
CNNSI.com's Loughery: Brad Daugherty obviously became a premier center for Cleveland. And while Hinson was very athletic -- he was big, really good size -- he really didn't have a feel for the game. Daugherty had tremendous feel for a big man. Hinson coming out of college was attractive, and I can see where he had enough skill to be attractive to Philly.
As far as Moses, in all honesty, he was coming down to the end then. I had him his second year in Washington, and he really didn't have much left.
I don't think Moses was all that an exciting player for the fans. He was more of a grinder, not a showman like Barkley or Dominique. He didn't thrill the fans, but his appeal was that he played so hard. He was a blue-collar player and Philly fans really gravitated to him. Traded for Ruland? No, this still was not a good deal.
|| Dan Moerman, Baltimore, Md.:
"NBA Draft Day, 1986. The Sixers are still an upper echelon team, having won the NBA championship three years before and with a young Charles Barkley poised to take the reins of the team from Dr. J. At center is another one of the NBA's 50 greatest players, Moses Malone. The Sixers hold the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft.
"Then they make two trades that defy all basketball logic. Roy Hinson: a decent player, but no Brad Daugherty.
Moses Malone was an 11-time All-Star. Allsport
"Then, to completely decimate the franchise, they trade Terry Catledge, Moses Malone and two first-round draft choices to the Bullets for Cliff Robinson and Jeff Ruland. Ruland played 13 games for the Sixers over two years. Barkley had to try to carry the Sixers on his own and the franchise didn't recover for 14 years. Shame."
| June 17,
| Sixers trade F Charles Barkley to Phoenix for
G Jeff Hornacek, C Andrew Lang and F Tim Perry
CNNSI.com's Loughery: As great as he was, I think Barkley had come to point where he was an almost uncoachable player. When he was young, he was tough [to reach]. I'm not sure he wasn't tough all along his career, but back then it was really hard to coach him. When Bobby Knight was coaching at the '84 Olympic Trials, Barkley didn't make the team. You can only imagine how those two got along.
The Sixers didn't get as much in return as people thought they might. Perry never put up big numbers, Lang was gone after one season and Hornacek wasn't as good as he came to be. The Sixers basically traded a great player for two role players ... not to mention they traded a player who was wildly popular with the fans. But when you're talking about trading, you look who got the best player. ...
Philly's Round Mound of Rebound. Mike Powell/Allsport
CNNSI.com: In Howard Katz's defense (can it be done?), Barkley was a handful and gave every appearance of being a time bomb ready to blow. On the very day he was traded he was being acquitted on assault charges.
But in a world where success is very clearly defined, Philadelphia went from 35 to 26 victories and Phoenix went to the Finals the first season with Barkley.
|| With Malice Toward None Goes Charles
Arizona Republic -- March 29, 1993
By David Casstevens
As the arena went dark, the PA announcer spoke with a cheeriness that sounded canned. "And now . . . "
The sellout crowd bristled. It knew what was coming.
Displeased, angry, even before Sunday's tip-off, spectators at the
sold-out Spectrum joined together in delivering the kind of reception usually
reserved for mustache-twirling villains and visiting teams.
"And now. . . . Boooooo . . . here's the starting lineup . . . BOOOOO! . . .
for your. . . . "
That did it. "BOOOOO!" they cried, louder than ever. " . . .
Phil-a-del-phia Seventy. . . BOOOOOOOOOO!!"
Charles Barkley stood near the Suns' bench, smiling in the darkness.
As the voices drowned out the announcer, Barkley drank in the malevolence,
savoring its pure, sweet sound. The serenade was music to his ears.
"I'm not an evil person," Barkley said the day before his homecoming game in
the city where he lived and played eight NBA seasons, the city he still calls
He said he wishes the Sixers players no ill will. He takes no pleasure, he
said, in the fact his former team is suffering through the club's worst season
in 20 years.
He had forecast disaster, after his departure. But as he noted upon his
return, trying not to gloat, "I'm not gonna say 'I told you so.' "
|| Josh Scharfberg, Washington, D.C.:
"Living in Philadelphia for a majority of my life, I grew accustomed to the Round Mound of Rebound, and never quite became a fan of the terrific players we got in return: Jeff Hornacek, and others whom I cannot even remember. The point that the other players cannot be remembered says a lot about what the Sixers at that time felt about Charles; they clearly didn't listen to the fans. Shame."
|| Bruce Falk, Alexandria, Va.:
"Not only did it take much of the joy out of the Sixers (as well as their fading title hopes), but it wiped out the last tie to the legacy of Dr. J. That was the day the Sixers' glory years as a key pillar of the NBA's holy triumvirate (Sixers-Celtics-Lakers) became history."
| July 9,
| Sixers trade C Wilt Chamberlain to the L.A. Lakers for F Jerry Chambers, G Archie Clark and C Darrall Imhoff
CNNSI.com's Loughery: Easily the most devastating trade they could have made. Not only was Wilt a great player, but he was a high school graduate right there in Philly. The thing that people overlook in their sentimentality is that Wilt wanted out. At that time, he asked for the trade.
The problem with trading Wilt is that no mater who you'd get, it wouldn't be enough. This may have been the start of the L.A. lure for the great athletes. It's one of the most attractive cities, no doubt and this was near the beginning of players wanting to go out and play on the West Coast. Wilt was always a showman and he could have heard Hollywood calling.
Philly lost Wilt twice: the first time when the Warriors left for San Francisco. Allsport
CNNSI.com: No, there was no way to get enough for Wilt. But this was bad. Chambers never played a game for Philly and was traded to Phoenix in January '69; Clark averaged about 20 points in two-plus seasons for the Sixers, who dealt him to Baltimore for, hey, Kevin Loughery; and Imhoff also was traded within two years.
Wilt joined a wildly talented team in L.A., helping form a dynasty that would last virtually until today. He also was spectacular as Bombaata opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer.
| Sixers select C Shawn Bradley No. 2 overall
CNNSI.com's Loughery: He was the natural choice. He was the choice of the people in league. As it turned out, he didn't pan out ... but at the time most people felt he needed to be given a chance. You couldn't pass him up. His downfall was that he never built his body up, and I'm not sure he has a great love for the game. Today you can build somebody up, give anybody a body.
Shawn Bradley was a 7-foot-6 flop in Philly. Jonathon Daniel/Allsport
In basketball when you go into the draft and you have a chance to get size, you get size. If there's any question, size will win out."
CNNSI.com: Fine, you can't coach size. But the 7-foot-6 Bradley had a whole laundry list of things he needed to learn. After two-plus seasons of averaging fewer than 10 points and seven rebounds, the Sixers gave up trying to teach him.
Look down that '93 draft class and they could have selected Penny Hardaway, Jamal Mashburn, J.R. Rider, Lindsey Hunter or Allan Houston.
|| Bradley Ripped, but Katz Made Goof
Arizona Republic -- December 3, 1995
By Steve Wilson
It wasn't a great draft (Chris Webber was No. 1), and Bradley was a gangly,
clumsy kid who had shown some shot-blocking skills and that's about all.
Katz drafted him anyway.
But Katz didn't have to give Bradley a $44 million contract.
What Katz did was draft Bradley and beg for the fans' patience, asking them
to give him three full years and then judge him, telling them that one day
Bradley would play in the high post like Bill Walton, be a passing wizard. And
on defense, he would rebound and block shots.
And the 76ers would reclaim their glory of old.
But a lot of people thought Katz was a little daffy to pass on a couple of
pretty darn good basketball players and go for the rawboned Bradley just
because he was tall. But as they say in basketball (all together now), "You
can't coach height."
There's excessive cruelty being thrown Bradley's way today in Philadelphia.
Not much brotherly love to be found on the subject of Shawn.
It just seems like Katz gets to skate away from this one just like he
skated away when he traded Barkley to Phoenix for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry and
Andrew Lang, all three of whom, by the way, are no longer 76ers.
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