THICK AS THIEVES

Posted by: Philadunkia
10/07/09 10:59 am EST

cwebberThe 76ers began their preseason schedule last night up and while the squad did handily defeat a watered down  Toronto squad (No Bosh or Hedo), the W is not what we are talking about this morning in the Philadunkia offices. 

The conversation late yesterday and again this morning here has been about the 76ers current roster and rosters from past Sixers teams.  As we were discussing whether it will be Dionte Christmas, Sean Singletary or Stromile Swift who lands the 14th and according to Ed Stefanski the final roster spot on the 2009-10 and thus steals a bunch of cash this year, the conversation turned to players who have stolen money from past Sixers teams. 

The thieves who took over this part of the conversation are easy to recite for most Sixers fans, but just in case you have forgotten their names, the players who took center stage in this discussion at the Philadunkia offices were Chris Webber, Matt Geiger, Glenn Robinson and Shawn Bradley. 

Sure you remember their names and faces and the crimes they committed, but do you remember the details of their offenses and do you know approximately how much money they stole per game?  Well, we have all of that info for you after the jump. 

Now we do not claim that our figures are 100% accurate as not all the financial information in a players contract is available to the public.  But based on our research and discussions with a few NBA front office folks about contracts, buyouts and guaranteed monies, we feel confident that we are very close in our estimations of what each of these four players got paid while wearing a Sixers uniform.  So without further delay, here’s a breakdown of the four biggest thieves in modern Sixers history.

cwebberIIIn 2001 Chris Webber had become the face of the Sacramento Kings franchise, so it was no surprise that he agreed to a seven-year deal worth $122.7 million with Sacto.  Four years, three All-Star Games, two Pacific Division titles and six consecutive NBA Playoff appearances later, Webber’s injuries and drama filled ways got him traded to the 76ers on April 23rd, 2005.

During his short 2005 season with the Sixers, Webber averaged 15.6 points and 7.9 rebounds in 21 games (12-9) and helped Philly to a berth in the NBA Playoffs, where the home team got bounced by the Pistons.

In 2005-06 Webber rejuvinated his career in a way by starting in 75 games and averaging 20.2 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 38.6 minutes of action per game.

However, the Sixers did not make the playoffs and the effects of microfracture surgery on his knee, really began to slow Webber that season.  He often visibly hobbled his way through games and had no lift at all anymore.  Of course every Sixers fan remembers that on Tuesday, April 18, 2006, Webber and Iverson were fined for showing up late at the Sixers final home game of the year, which was Fan Appreciation Night.

During the 2006–07 season Webber only played in 18 of the Sixers first 35 contests, including a stretch where he missed 11 of his last 14 games in a Sixers uniform.  Officially foot and ankle injuries were the reasons.  However his motivation and heart were openly called into question by the fans and the Philly media.  Finally, on January 11, 2007 Sixers GM Billy King announced that the organization and Webber had agreed to a reported $25 million contract buyout on the remaining two years left on his contract, in effect paying him not to play.  Webber was due nearly $21 million in 2006-07 and $22 million the next season.  Later that day, the Sixers waived Webber, making him a free agent.

Webber racked up 114 games in a 76ers uniform over what amounts to less then two full NBA seasons.  He banked roughly $441,912.71 per contest as a Sixer.  The NBA, where amazing happens.

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mgeigerMatt Geiger’s journey to Philadelphia started in Charlotte, where he played three seasons as a Hornet, his best in 1997-98, when he averaged 14.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in a 40-game span.  The 76ers fell in love with Geiger based on those numbers and signed him to his landmark six-year, $54 million dollar contract.  At the time it was the maximum allowed under the CBA.

In 1999-2000, Geiger missed the first 17 contests due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.  He finished that season playing in 65 games, starting 20 of them and averaging 9.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.  

It is widely reported that during summer 2000, then-Sixers coach Larry Brown was done with the antics of Allen Iverson and worked out a four-team trade in which Iverson and Geiger would end up in Detroit, and the Sixers would end up with Glen Rice and a couple other salary cap matching players.  Allegedly Geiger put the kibosh on the trade because he wouldn’t waive his 15% trade kicker. It’s interesting to note that Iverson went on to be the NBA MVP in 2000-01 and the Sixers made it to the Finals that year while Geiger’s injury problems continued.

In 2000-01, Geiger began the injury-plagued season on the injured list after suffering a left knee injury on the first day of training camp (Oct. 1st).  He had surgery on Oct. 6 and was activated nine games into the season.  He played in just 35 of the next 73 games, missing a total of 43 contests with right and left knee and right quadriceps injuries throughout the season.  He had another surgery, this time on his right knee, on Jan. 4.  However, Geiger did manage to recover in time to burn in 12 of the Sixers 23 postseason games in 2001 including all five of the NBA Finals games vs. Shaq and the Lakers.

Those would be his last meaningful games in a Sixers uniform as Geiger couldn’t overcome the knee injuries, was waived after four games in 2001-02 and subsequently announced his retirement from the game of basketball due to degenerative arthritis in both knees.   At the time Geiger said, “I saw the way Bill Walton limped into our locker room to do TV interviews, and I thought, “I love the game, but I want to be able to walk when I’m 50.’ ”

Geiger played in a total of 154 games for the Sixers in four seasons earning roughly a staggering $350,649.35 per contest.  Insert raising buffalo joke here.

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The first big trade of the 2003 off-season dropped on Wednesday, July 23, and in that deal, Minnesota acquired Latrell Sprewell, Keith Van Horn went to the Knicks and the 76ers scored Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson from Atlanta and former Temple star Marc Jackson from Minnesota in a four-team deal involving six players.

grobinsonAt the time Robinson had two years remaining on his 10 year, $68.15 million contract that he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks back in 1994 fresh out of Purdue, plus the  one-year $12 million dollar extension he also tacked on later in Milwaukeehe that pushed his contract through 2004-05.  When the Sixers got Robinson he was a two-time All-Star who has just led the Hawks in scoring the previous season at 20.8 points per game.  His acquisition was yet another attempt to find a second legitimate scoring option to pair with Allen Iverson.

“When you have a chance to get a big, big player — as we were lacking some size — and a consistent scorer, it was a deal we couldn’t pass up,” Sixers president Billy King said back in 2003.

“Big Dog” played in only 42 games in 2003-04 for the Sixers hitting for 16.6 ppg, and 4.5 rpg.  He missed 40 games that year (37 due to injury; three due to NBA suspension), including the last 20 games of the season .

The story goes that Robinson entered the 2004 training camp in good condition and ready to contribute in the way the Sixers had envisioned for him, but that all went down the crapper when Head Coach Jim O’Brien decided that rookie Andre Iguodala would be the team’s starter at small forward instead of Robinson.  The move didn’t sit well with Robinson.  Allegedly he pouted to no end and became a distraction to the point where then GM Billy King announced on November 1st of that year that he would seek to trade “Big Dog”.

He never played in a single game for the Sixers in 2004-05 and eventually in March 2005, the Sixers shipped Robinson to New Orleans for Rodney Rogers and the injured Jamal Mashburn.

Robinson played in a total of 42 games for the Sixers in a little over one season, earning roughly a $178,571.43 per contest.  Insert “dog” joke here.

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shawnbradleybookNot long after the 76ers made Shawn Bradley, their first-round pick and the second pick overall in the 1993 NBA draft, Bradley signed a 7 year, $44 million contract with the team.  The move inspired the Sixers owner Harold Katz to call the signing of the 7-foot-6 Bradley, who had been on a Mormon mission for the last two years, “the biggest gamble I’ve ever taken by far.”  Boy did Katz loose big.

In his awkward inaugural NBA season (1993-94), Shawn Bradley played in 49 games averaging 10.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks as a rookie.  Despite missing the final 32 games of the season, because of a dislocated left kneecap and chipped bone he suffered in a collision with Portland’s Harvey Grant, Bradley was a 1994 Second Team All-Rookie selection.

The 1994-95 season saw Big Shawn run in all 82 games while contributing 9.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.34 blocks per night with the 76ers.  Bradley finished the season with 274 blocks, a Philadelphia single-season record and 18 disqualifications (foul outs), also a Philly franchise record.

At the end of the ’94-95 season the writing was on the wall for Bradley.  He showed little improvement over his two seasons with Philly despite having NBA legends such as Moses Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar work on his game.  On a comical effort to help Shawn get his “swoll” on (As Iverson would say.), the Sixers brought in former Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney, to supplement the work of the nutrition experts they had hired for Bradley. 

During his sophomore year in Philly, accusations swirled that Bradley rarely dedicated time to working on his skills, there were rumors that he had no love for the game itself and hints were made that he whined that expectations were too high.  Thus, trade rumors involving Bradley persisted throughout the summer of 1995. 

Twelve games into the 1995-96 season, Harold Katz apparently had seen enough of his money wasted and Bradley was traded to New Jersey as part of a six-player deal that sent Derrick Coleman to Philly.  During the dozen games he played with the Sixers that season, Shawn put up similar numbers to his first two years in Philly — 8.8 ppg. and 8.8 rpg.  

Bradley tallied 143 games for Katz’s 76ers over a little more then two full NBA seasons.  For his efforts on behalf of the 76ers, Shawn took home roughly $99,169.12 per outing.  That’s chump change compared to the rest of the guys on this list.


 
 
 

2 Responses to “THICK AS THIEVES”

  1. Murphy09
    7. October 2009 at 19:55

    Sammy Dalembert will be on this list very soon. He is a huuuuuuuuuuuge waste of money.

  2. Chris McC
    12. October 2009 at 14:34

    Actually just visited the site for the first time today (despite seeing links for it on other sites) and I must say I’m sorry I haven’t been checking you guys out more. This was a great piece, really enjoyed it, you just scored another reader.

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